“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” -Psalm 42:5
In times of trouble and upheaval, it is so easy to focus on the pain, difficulty and frustration of what is going wrong rather than what is positive. This is human nature. As believers in Jesus, God gives us the ability through the Holy Spirit, to look beyond our trials to see the goodness of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Our pain, disappointments, sin, frustrations and limitations can hinder and entangle us, if we make them our focus. We can instead, be empowered to look higher and lock eyes with Jesus himself, our Good Shepherd, who is with us and will lead us through any obstacle we may face (John 10:14). These days we are enduring nearly constant shaking from changing restrictions, political upheaval and medical discrimination. Politicians are failing us. Medical professionals are unreliable. Family members and friends are divided. Government oppression surrounds us. Many church leaders have dropped the ball as well. People will disappoint us. There are even times when we do not understand what God is doing and we feel hurt and confused. I have experienced all of the above. How about you? Last month, on the 4th of July, the Holy Spirit gave me a word of encouragement. He said, “There is room in my heart for everyone. The time will come when all things will be made right. Wait for it patiently. Worship me in the waiting. This will never disappoint you. I will always be found by you. Seek me first and foremost. I delight to be found by you. Every promise will be fulfilled. Keep your eyes on me. I’m here. I’m wherever you are.” What a beautiful word! God is faithful. He has not forgotten us or left us. As we fix our gaze on Jesus and worship Him, our hearts will be filled with joy and peace. Disappointment will flee from us.
I recently attended the “Let Us Worship” event lead by Sean Feucht in Portland, Oregon. In the middle of this crazy year, it was so encouraging to gather together with other believers and worship Jesus! Many people were saved, healed, delivered of addictions and baptized in the river. It was a huge victory for the kingdom of God. The enemy, however, hates it when we worship Jesus. A group of Antifa showed up in the park and beat drums to intimidate us. Thankfully, there were many who volunteered to do security to help keep us safe. It felt like we were worshiping on a battlefield. Antifa was not able to stop us from worshiping, but they did attack people after the event who were walking to their cars. Some vehicles were vandalized and a handful of people were attacked with tear gas and fireworks, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt. The enemy is trying to silence us. He will attempt to squash our worship, but this only proves one thing… that worship is a powerful weapon! We will find strength to overcome every obstacle in this season as we set our hearts on God and worship him. We will change the atmosphere of our homes, cities and nations as we welcome the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Let’s lift up the name of Jesus!
There are many ways we can worship. Whether we put on our favorite worship music in the car, spend 30 minutes in prayer, give of our time and money or fast from food, we can all do something to fix our eyes on Jesus in this season. One of my favorite ways to worship God is to put on my favorite worship songs and dance to the music. Worship can fill us with joy even in the darkest of times. I sense we have some rough days ahead of us, but leaning into the heart of God through worship, will help carry us through the hardships to brighter days. When persecution comes, worship. When you are confused, worship. When you are hurting, worship. When you are sick, worship. When all looks lost, worship. This will never disappoint us. This will give us strength to endure whatever may come. Let’s also worship with other believers. We are the church and we will overcome. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus has promised us victory! This is our harvest season. Revival is here. Even now, Jesus is saving and healing many all over the world and this will only increase. The Apostle Paul said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Let’s worship the King of kings boldly and with great love (Revelation 17:14). The harvest is NOW! Jesus be glorified!