It takes little effort to give God praise after He helps you. To thank Him after a problem is solved. To worship after the hard thing in life is in the rearview mirror. Yet, I have found that giving God praise before my breakthrough is even more meaningful and important, both in the moment and in the long run.
It isn’t easy. When times are hard or chaotic or overwhelming in my life, my natural instinct is not to lift my hands in worship or send up prayers of thanksgiving. I often tend to get swept up in the emotions, get stressed, and believe things will never get better. Sometimes things don’t get better right away; sometimes it takes days or months or years.
God is still worthy of praise. He is still faithful. He is still good. Even in the middle of the storm. Especially in the middle of the storm.
A Shift in Perspective
There are two songs that I heard for the first time several years ago that gave me a new perspective of praise and worship. They are “Praise Before My Breakthrough” by Brian and Katie Torwalt and “Raise a Hallelujah” by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser.
These songs showed me that worship is a way to fight the enemy, a very powerful weapon we have been given. It’s not something that we should do just when things are good or simple or happy. Worship is something we should do at all times in all circumstances. This includes seasons of drought and waiting, grief and anger. Seasons where the Lord seems quiet or far away.
In those times, I have found I have to look back and see what the Lord has done in the past. I have to see where He has provided for me, rescued me, or simply comforted me while I cried. If I have a hard time seeing it in my own story, I look at how He is present in other people’s lives or ways He worked in the Bible. I read stories of the Israelites or David crying out in the Psalms or Jesus performing miracles time and time again.
If He was faithful before, and I promise He was, He will be faithful again.
The Power of Praise
Praising God is not just a way to thank Him. It is a way to declare trust in Him. Worship is a way to say God is bigger than whatever we’re dealing with, even if it doesn’t seem like it in that moment. It can provide words we aren’t able to come up with because the emotions are too overwhelming. It is the Holy Spirit speaking for us and through us.
As we praise God, the situation may not change. Worship doesn’t take away our problems. But, worship can help heal our hearts, and it can help bring us closer to the Lord. Praising God takes our focus off the difficulties and puts our focus on God. It breaks fear’s grip on us. Over time, we start to feel different about the situation even if nothing has actually changed. The problem seems less big and stressful and scary, because God is bigger and stronger, and He is faithful. Heaven is at work in the midst of us praising God.
When our praise comes before the breakthrough, God’s peace guards us regardless of if we have any understanding or not, even if the problem has no immediate outcome or solution. I leave you with this promise in Psalm 27:13-14: “I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; let your heart be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.”
How can you worship the Lord right now, even if life is bleak or times are hard?