Death, Grief, Growth/Maturity, Pain, Praise/Worship, Spiritual Therapy

When It Hurts

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1 NKJV

If you have been around Christians for any length of time, I’m certain that you’ve heard this statement at least once if not many times.  It’s a powerful statement, for it declares that regardless of what may be occurring in life, you will continue to praise God.  It’s an easy declaration to make when things are going great, kind of sort of good, or okay, but what about when it hurts?  When you are disappointed, broken, distraught, delayed, empty, and seemingly defeated, can you still bless the Lord?

Saturday our congregation found itself in mourning as we lost the life of a wonderful teenager, Miles Blackwell.  When I arose on Sunday, the first thing that came to mind was, “What will worship be like?”  For the past several months, worship has been indescribable.  The presence of God has been so overwhelming that members hate missing service and Sunday worship has become a hot topic for Facebook (also referred to as Spacebook by our pastor).  How would people worship after suffering such a loss?      

As I pondered the possible shift in worship, God reminded me that worship is in order even when it hurts.  Worship is not something that we do only when “we feel like it.”  Instead, “Praise is what I do, EVEN WHEN I’M GOING THE THROUGH, I’ve learned to worship You.  I vow to praise You, through the good and the bad.  I’ll praise You, whether happy or sad.  I’ll praise You, in all that I go through, because praise is what I do.

Praising God in spite of hurt can be seen through two great characters of the bible.  In the first chapter of Job, we find that Job loses ten children and all his earthly possessions, yet he bows down to worship God (Job 1:20).  In Genesis 22, Abraham similarly worships God after being instructed to sacrifice his only son whom he loves (Genesis 22:1-5).  Here we have two men, broken, mourning, hurt, but still worshiping.

Through these men, we come to understand what Jesus means when He speaks of true worshipers.  “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” John 4:23 NKJV.  True worshipers bless the Lord even when it hurts!  It’s not enough simply to praise God when things are well.  True worship requires that we sacrifice our feelings, emotion, pride, and yes, our very lives to bless God (Romans 12:1 NLT).

Unfortunately, in this life we shall encounter mountaintops and valleys.  There will be days when blessing God will come with ease.  But, there will also be days when praising God may seem hard.  I pray that when the latter days come you remember Abraham and Job and continue to worship even when it hurts.  We certainly did!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for giving us the strength to worship during hard times.  When it hurts, help us to remember the One whom we worship, rather than the things that we endure.  Teach us how to bless You at all times, understanding that You are worthy of praise even when it hurts.  Father, we bless You for the wonderful God that You are.  May Your name be exalted throughout the earth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to worship God when it hurts.  Practice blessing God not only during good times but also during times of difficulty.  God is seeking true worshipers.  I urge you to let your worship be real.

In Loving Memory of Miles Blackwell

 Read a related EmpowerMoment: Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)

12 thoughts on “When It Hurts”

  1. Tasha,this was needed by my soul. Yesterday and today was hard for me too get into prayer and my word,but I did it. Sunday,I had a wonderful time,but yesterday and today was a push. I’m learning that personally I can’t go off of my FEELINGS because like you said,PRAISE is what I should do and what he deserves so I really enjoyed this today. I got a little pep in my step now so as always thanks EM and continue because I need the Empower(ing) Moments(especially these past two days)!

    1. Lisa, praise God for small favors! God knows what we need and He can bring encouragement through the smallest things. I also have those days where it’s hard for me to get motivated. In those times, I’m learning that I must make a conscious effort to worship. Worship is a response to who God is, not the things that we are going through. God does not change. He is always worth our praise. Worshiping when it hurts is a sign of maturity. It does not come easy, but it is something that we grow into. May God bless you and lift you in the days to come.

    1. To God be the glory! I’m thankful that He knows what we need. His words are living and not just characters strung together. God bless!

  2. Tasha~
    as we went through worship on Sunday and I set and thought about the lost our church was going through all I could here was the Lord saying it’s ok to cry, its ok hurt, its ok to have question’s, and it’s ok to be upset! The thing that stuck the most with me was the fact that worship has been so high at church for the past few months til for me I think I was getting to comfortable. Sunday was just a reminder that your worship should be for real no matter the situation. We are going to go through as a church family and as individuals, but God is real and we must learn how to lean and depend on him no matter what (the good times as well as the bad time’s) God is up to some amazing things at the Luke and to my St. Luke family we just have to hold on tight and continue to allow the Lord to lead us as he has been doing.

    1. Yes grieving is a natural process. Nothing about it is ungodly. God wants us to remember, however, that He is a healer and consoler. The wounds that we feel now are temporary but the love of God is eternal. We must also remember that true praise is genuine. I believe that praise/worship are overwhelmingly intellectual. There are times when we are moved to do it, but for the most part we have to make a conscious effort to give to God what He is due. Our flesh is selfish and often reacts to feeling. Serving God is not about feeling but about knowing who He is. When we act out of our knowledge of God we can consciously worship Him at all times. God bless!

  3. I was thinking the same thing on Saturday, but God shared with me that His grace and healing will prevail, and based on the FB comments, He did!

    Keeping their family and our church in my prayers.

    1. Yes He did! Miles has left a legacy in many ways. At his prayer vigil there were hundreds of people and his parents said the one thing that keeps them together is their certainty of his relationship with Christ. I think Miles would have wanted us to continue praising.

  4. A young lady recently said, “Praise brings God to you, worship is when God takes you with Him!” I thank God for continuing to bless me on this particular topic because praise is a gift from God so that we can see Him, love Him, and understand Him. When He shows me exactly who I am in the Him the only thing I can do is say, “Lord, you are so right! Forgive me for my shortcoming, thank you now for forgiving me, and thank you for showing me where I’ve strayed from your instruction.” That admittance and humbling phase sends me into PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE!!! We serve and AWESOME God, patient in all He does, love that never ends and a Presence that is most powerful. He doesn’t have to correct us, shield us, protect us, use us, or fight for us as we walk in our flesh and continue to fail. But He is so gracious, so gracious, so gracious, full of mercy that He does because of His unsurpassing love for us. I praise you Father!!! You are more than worthy.

    One question: When times get rough (when, not if) what will be your response? “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Deuteronomy 8:2

  5. So since Im pretty inquisitive–er, nosey–I googled this young man and what a tragic story. As I watched the many youtube memoirs of him, I was brought to tears. I was especially sensitive to the one that showed his car and the remnants of the accident that claimed his life. After viewing all of that and revisiting your EM, I praise God! To know that you all, God’s chosen people, were still in high worship and still singing praises to His name is so inspirational! It takes a MATURE follower to praise God in the midst of that type of pain…

    Keeping the entire Blackwell and St. Luke family in my prayers. ((hugs))

    1. Thanks for your prayers. He was indeed a wonderful young man! I believe that he would have wanted God to receive glory in the midst of his death.

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