Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise (James 5:13).
I suppose we’re more likely to obey the first part of that verse than we are the second. It’s easy to let all of life’s stresses cause us to forget our need to praise God for everything good. If we’re not careful, talking to God can be more like a 911 call—something when do only when we find ourselves in a very difficult spot.
Talking to God, though—praising him—ought to be what we do in every situation. When we’re hurting or sad, we pour out our hearts to him.
When we’re joyful—when he’s blessed us—we praise him.
James recognizes that life has its ups and downs. We’ll have problems like everyone else; when we do, we pray about it. But we should also recognize that God gives us so many joys.
What’s right in your life today?
Did you hear the birds singing outside this morning? Perhaps you already took a walk this morning. God’s blessings surround us, and most of us have quite a few things to smile about.
A soft bed and a comfortable house. Water to drink and food to eat. A job that supports our families, healthy kids, faithful friends, a country that—even with all its problems—most of us wouldn’t trade for any other.
And most of all, of course, we’ve got Christ. Even if we have problems—which we do—nothing can dampen the fact that we’re forgiven.
Saved from sin. Washed in the blood. Justified, sanctified, and soon to be glorified.
So today, take time to praise. List the blessings God’s poured into your life, and thank him for every single one of them.
But especially thank him for giving you hope in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. —Chuck