Monday, April 14, 2014

To Praise or Not to Praise




Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the time of year where all of our focus is on the triumphal entry of Jesus.  We love to hear how the crowd waved palm branches, spread their cloaks on the road, and shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”; “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”; “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” We get all excited and we can just imagine being in the crowd that was praising Jesus that day.  It was exciting and emotional maybe it was like being at a football or baseball game when “your team” scored a touchdown from 80 yards or hit a grand slam to put them ahead of their opponent.  Yet, I am reminded that the very same crowd that was shouting and singing his praises on Monday were shouting and screaming, “Crucify him” just a few days later.  What happened that changed their mind about the man they called Jesus? Did Jesus change? Well, my guess is that just like in a ball game, they were swayed by what he was doing.  They were happy with him as long as he was doing what they wanted, they were happy to sing his praises as long as he had the “upper hand."  However, as soon as he no longer had the advantage, they were ready to “throw him under the bus” and “crucify him."   They were not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah so when the tide turned and he no longer did the things that they were hoping; they were hopping off the ship.  My question to you, and to myself, is this?  Do we praise God because we are convinced that he is our messiah, or because, for a moment, God seems to be doing what you want?  I pray that we are committed to Jesus not just when things are wonderful but also during the trials of life.  It’s easy to praise God on Palm Sunday, when everything looks good for Jesus.  We must remember to praise him when the sky turns black and things go wrong.  He is still the same God.  Only our circumstances have changed, Jesus is the same he never, ever changes.  Praise him because you are convinced that he is God and he does not change or make mistakes.


Praise You in the Storm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUWbmtbzDno

And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm