At the age of 12, my mother and I were in the grocery store parking lot at night. A man came up behind us pointing a pistol saying, “You know what I want, give it up.” While he pretended to help us load our groceries, my mother scrambled through her purse to come up with a small amount of money, maybe $30. He took the money and left. As soon as we got into the car my mother burst into a crazy praise. I don’t think I have ever heard her scream and shout so loudly. I was in tears and all she kept saying was “Thank You God, thank You God, You are awesome and worthy…” and so on. As an adult, I look back on that situation to find out how powerful that moment was. Her first reaction was to praise, not to pout! Later once the offender was caught, we found out that not only was he high on crack cocaine but the gun was loaded and cocked! She could have praised later, but she praised in advance!
Let’s appraise ourselves. When we are faced with a traumatic event, of any intensity, do we praise immediately, or do we wait until the event has passed and we see a favorable outcome?
There is one thing that separates us from being able to praise immediately opposed to waiting for the outcome. FAITH! You really have to believe what God’s Word says in order to praise before you pout. I remember harsh break ups with guys that I just knew were “the one”, finding that at the end of the day my money was not going to stretch to the next day, or receiving a pink slip from a job that I felt was the pinnacle of my career. I grew in the Lord and in His Word and realized that I should have praised at the onset of each of those situations. I would have been much happier and less stressed and depressed.
This is what allows me to praise at the onset of disaster and rejoice in the Lord in every situation:
- I BELIEVE with ALL of my heart and soul that: “All things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
- I BELIEVE with every limb of my body that: “In him we were also chosen,having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 NIV
- I BELIEVE with all that I have in His Word. “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
Praise cannot be your first reaction if you do not seriously believe God’s Word. Instead you will find yourself scared, fearful, and worried about situations in your life. Don’t mistake me, I’m not a carefree person and I am no stranger to doubt or deep concern; but I have to pull myself together quickly! I desire to rid myself of stress and anxiety. I practice being a good steward over the things God has given me — my marriage, my job, my finances, my children, and my opportunities — and that takes work. Ultimately, I believe that if I walk by faith, God will take care of every want and need. He will sustain me when I feel that I am falling. He will restore me when I feel that I am empty. Therefore, because of faith, I can praise at the brink of tragedy. I don’t have to wait until the outcome occurs. I know that God loves me and He wants the absolute best for me.
Thank You for moving some things out of my way, even when I perceived them as failures. When tragedy hits, I have to admit, my first reaction is not to praise, but that is because I forget that Your Word is true. You told me that ALL things work out for my GOOD. So God, please help me to remember this when he walks out on me, when I lose my job, or when I can’t seem to keep my head above water. Please help me to remember that You will work out EVERYTHING. I just need to stay faithful to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Sistah Girl, I EMPOWER you to trust God with the issues you face and praise Him before you pout. I dare you to praise God for your situation. If you really need God, really want Him close, praise Him in advance! Not only will He show up, but He will give you the desires of your heart.
What encourages you to praise before you pout? Share it with us by commenting below.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Praise the Lord Anyhow
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic four-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.