Mark spoke from Hab 3:17-19 tonight, verses which remind us that praising God does not always take place in circumstances which, at first glance, are conducive to praise! It’s easy for us to associate praise with feelings, but as this passage reminds us, even when there is no prospect of harvest or food, even when Habakkuk could find plenty of reasons NOT to praise God, still he chose to praise.
When disasters occur – job losses, crashed cars, ill health and so on – our natural reaction is not to praise God, but often we question Him. Habakkuk shows us that whatever the natural response, there can be a spiritual response whereby we choose to rejoice. As we choose to focus our gaze on the Lord, we are transformed for we realise He is singing over us (Zeph 3:17) and we should sing as much in the dark times as when all is going well. Ps 149:1-6 shows us the power of praise; God takes pleasure in His people and beautifies us. As we commit to praising God, our joy and rejoicing actually release blessing from God. God is sufficient for us in all circumstances and we have a duty to praise Him, no matter what.