Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12 ESV)
Day 30- Praising God for an Unknown Future
As the rest of this year stretches before me, I have no idea what it holds. It could be unexpected blessing and surprise. But it could also contain challenge and hardship.
As I stand at this precipice, I am deciding to praise God NO MATTER WHAT. I admit that is a bit scary, because while I can foresee praising the Lord through a little bit of difficulty, I think I would struggle if He sends me into a “valley of the shadow of death.” That is why I am making this decision ahead of time. I am “pre-deciding” to praise and trust the Lord in everything.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4 NASB)
Praising God for His gift of eternal life and the living hope in which I now walk.
The resurrection of Jesus provides me with a hope which lives and breathes. My future with Jesus cannot fade, tarnish, or decrease. When I walk daily in the reality of all Jesus accomplished for me eternally, I can face today with joyful anticipation. The worst that life can throw at me cannot diminish heaven.
- So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
Praising God for His internal renewal and eternal glory.
It is easy to lose heart. My body ages and decays a little more daily. My energy falls, my eyes fail, my skin sags. But, the life of Jesus within renews daily. He sustains my spirit and my hope so I can continue walking and serving Him through the pain of life.
- do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
Praising God for His guarding peace.
I will praise and thank Him for all that is coming this year, because of the certainty of His peace. He promises it will guard my heart and mind, the two parts of me that require the most protection.
- But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV)
Praising God for His protection through every difficulty.
The Lord promises His presence right in the middle of my worst fear. There is not one second coming which He does not already inhabit. So I can “fear not” because the Lord who “called me by name” never leaves me.
- "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11 ESV)
Praising God for the opportunities to witness.
I praise Jesus for each opportunity He will give me to bear His name and be His witness.
- Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength (Habakkuk 3:17-19a ESV)
Praising God no matter what.
When I cannot take joy in a single thing around me, I can still take joy in the Lord of my salvation. My unknown future rests in His known hands.
- For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12 NASB)
He is Who I believe and Who I will trust to guard me.
Day 30 Prayer
- You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV)
Dearest Lord Jesus,
This year is Yours. I want to live it for You in whatever circumstances You place me.
I praise You now for whatever You have planned or allow in my life. You are the only One Who can take my worst fear or circumstance and redeem it to the glory of Your name. May this year be lived in praise to You every day.
I praise You now for Your provision in any challenges that lie ahead. Help me to remember to lean on You and wait on Your leading.
Thank you also for the certainty of eternity and the abundance You have waiting. I am so grateful that this fallen world is not as good as it gets. I eagerly anticipate living with You and for You in eternity, but until then I want to be a faithful witness here.
As I live out the days of 2017 I ask You guard my heart and mind that I do not become discouraged or deluded. Help me to walk my days out in the living hope You provide. Please renew me daily so that I have the strength and love available to serve those You give me to serve.
I have no idea what lies ahead, whether abundance or difficulty. But I praise You that no matter what it is, You promise Your presence and guidance. If there is no fruit, I will praise You. If I lack provision, I will praise You. If my finances fail, relationships implode, sickness comes, or any other doom, I WILL PRAISE YOU.
You are worthy of every ounce of my praise and I praise You now for my unknown future.
Thank You that You hold my future and know how to carry me through it.
Please use this year to glorify You and make Your name known.
I pray your 2017, which rests securely in the Lord's hands, holds joy, blessing, and great opportunities to be His witness. But even if it doesn't, praise Him anyway!
Only one more day in our 31 days of prayer! Your perseverance will yield great rewards.
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)