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Understanding Praise in All Circumstances.

Introduction:

1. **Biblical Basis:**

- **1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV):** "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

- **Philippians 4:4 (NIV):** "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will repeat it: Rejoice!"


These passages encourage us to maintain a heart of gratitude and praise regardless of our circumstances.


2. **Praising God Despite Circumstances:**

- **James 1:2-4 (NIV):** "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that testing your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

- **Romans 8:28 (NIV):** "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."


These verses remind us that trials can strengthen our faith and that God can bring good out of any situation.


3. **Praising God for His Nature and Promises:**

- **Psalm 103:2-5 (NIV):** "Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."


We praise God not necessarily for the suffering but for who He is and His promises to us.


**Illustrations and Examples:**


1. **Job's Story:**

- Job lost everything—his health, wealth, and family—yet he said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised" (Job 1:21, NIV).


2. **Paul and Silas in Prison:**

- Acts 16:25 (NIV): "About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them."

- Despite being in chains, they "chose to" praise God, demonstrating that their joy was not dependent on their circumstances.


**Comments and Reflections:**


1. **Perspective on Suffering:**

- Praising God in difficult times doesn't mean we are happy about the pain or suffering. Instead, it reflects our trust in God's sovereignty and goodness.

- It's about recognizing that God is with us in our suffering and can use even the most demanding circumstances for our growth and His glory.


2. **Personal Testimony:**

- In my own experiences with cancer and PTSD, despite the pain, I found moments to praise God for His faithfulness, the support of loved ones, and the strength to endure.


**Conclusion:**


Praising God in all circumstances, including those involving suffering and sickness, is an act of faith and trust. It's about acknowledging God's presence, love, and ultimate plan for our lives. It's a way to draw closer to Him, even when we don't understand why we are going through tough times.


**Closing Thought:**


- I encourage you to find small moments of gratitude and praise, even in your darkest hours, trusting that God is with you and working all things together for your good.


**Closing Prayer:**


Heavenly Father, we come before You with hearts full of trust and gratitude. We praise You for Your unchanging nature and constant presence in our lives. Help us see Your hand at work, even in our suffering. Give us the strength to praise You in all circumstances, knowing that You are with us and will bring good out of every situation. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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