by Lydia E. Harris
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“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).
When my son was in high school, I campaigned hard for a godly school-board candidate. This man’s values reflected mine, including abstinence-based sex education.
For weeks, I stumped from door to door and from neighborhood to neighborhood to promote my candidate. Campaigning became a priority, and sometimes I barely had time to cook dinner for my family. I wondered if investing so much time in this election was worth it.
My son cheered me on with, “Keep it up, Mom.” My family agreed to simpler meals and a less-than-tidy home so I could continue campaigning.
Finally, the election was over, and the votes were counted. My candidate had lost! I had worked hard, sacrificed, and prayed. For what?
Crushed in spirit, I asked God, “What shall I do now?”
His answer surprised me: “Praise Me.”
Praise Him? For this outcome? Yes, I sensed that’s what God asked of me.
I pulled out a chair and knelt on my not-so-clean kitchen floor. With tears running down my cheeks, I prayed in surrender.
“Lord, I’m disappointed. I worked hard, yet my candidate lost. But I choose to praise You because You are sovereign. Oh, God, I look to You, and I praise You as my great God. You are worthy of praise even when things don’t turn out as I hoped. I surrender my desires and trust You with these election results.”
I got up from my knees, still disappointed, but at peace with God. I sensed He was pleased with my prayer and my campaign efforts. He would oversee the situation, even with another school-board member elected.
In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah wrote about disappointments that were far greater than mine. Enemies had burned down the entire city of Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Yet in the midst of this devastation, Jeremiah praised God (Lamentations 3:22-26).
No matter what disappointments and setbacks we face, God always deserves our praise for who He is. And when we praise Him, it brings Him joy and changes our focus.
~Lord, help me to always praise You. Like Jeremiah, change my song of lament into a song of joyous praise. Amen.
Permanent devotional link
Questions: What are you facing today? It’s easy to praise God on the mountaintops of joy and even on the plateaus of daily life. But what about in the dark craters of despair? Will you praise Him there?
About the Author: Lydia E. Harris