Praise is not a natural emotion, at least once the sinful nature entered life’s equation. When one rule was overlooked to indulge curiosity, the world forever changed. At one point following Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, God’s anger continued for a generation, 40 years to be exact, Psalm 95:10. Spoiled, spineless and spiritually lukewarm, many Jews forgot how to praise their God.
A few thousand years later, a misguided man was brought to the forefront. Blinded by the presence of Jesus, a prideful leader was humbled by the Almighty God, Acts 9:1-19. Although his transformation was immediate, not every cheered, especially the victims of his persecution. Nonetheless, Saul from Tarsus tarried on with his relationship with God, unlike what most Christians will ever experience. Pushed to the brink of death several times, a heart of worship grew within the apostle Paul.
Instead of pouting, “why me God,” Acts 16:16-36 takes a look inside a heart of praise. Punished for doing the right thing, Paul used negative circumstances as a stepping stone to present prisoners with the good news of Jesus Christ. The rest of this account is a testament to God’s blessings and faithfulness during the storms and trials in life. If today’s generation of Christians can apply one lesson from the life of Paul, its simple. Stop pouting and start praising, whether life is good, bad or indifferent, Philippians 4:4-9.
by Jay Mankus