Be grateful for everything and everyone.
Praising where I once cursed... Hmmm...ain't that fun. ;)
Ok, so it was a bit of a challenge at times, but so worth it. In giving thanks for the good, I found a greater appreciation for what I was already grateful for and was reminded not to take those things for granted. Through giving praise in the challenging moments, I found a deeper love and a greater understanding for those in my life. I also received a greater love for God. I felt closer to Him. Like we were friends doing life together. :)
I was reminded of a time when I wanted to ask God what was the worship thing all about, when it seemed vain of Him, but I didn't believe Him to be a vain Being. Actually, that question was in the back of my mind for a very long time, and I refused to bring it to light. But when I did, God showed me a couple of reasons why He desires us to worship:
In one image, I was standing on a cliff edge, and He was on another. In-between us was an incredibly deep chasm, and a rope leading from my cliff to His, and I had to walk across it, to Him. I hate heights. I hated to even imagine walking it. But then the image of God standing there altered to Him holding out His hands to me, saying, "Come. Don't look down or you will find fear and fall. Look at me. Keep your eyes focused on me...and walk." Worship, I saw, was a way to keep our eyes off our troubles and enabled us to walk by faith to the Father. It blocked out all fear. It was simply a matter of trusting Him and walking to Him, knowing He was there to catch us.
Another image He gave me was of a toddler just beginning to walk. He bent, with arms open, as a parent would, to encourage His child to walk to Him. As we focus on Him, He encourages us to keep going.
Our focus played/s a major part in our ability to walk in faith. And God knows we have hearts that love to worship - be it Him or a false idol, such as money, a pop star, self, sex or something else; hearts that are prone to wander off after whatever we focus on. In worship, we focus on Him... and our hearts become full to overflowing with hope, faith and joy, because of it.
We worship God because He deserves it, yes. But I am convinced He made it so for our benefit. We have hearts that long to worship someone or something, but eyes that will never be content until they focus completely on Him, and a faith that will falter whenever we focus on this world and its instability. Troubled? Close your eyes, focus on Him, give praise, thank Him, speak in tongues if you can, and feel the load lifting from your heart. Open your eyes, focus on your problems, the world, your struggles, circumstances and feelings, and watch as your heart grows heavier and heavier... Worship lifts us up as we lift Him up.
Tonight, after spending the day thanking God for the good things and even for the challenges, I lay down in my bed and rest in peace - and that with a very grateful and happy heart. :)
THANK YOU, GOD!!!!
Not that I speak in regard to need,
for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.
Everywhere and in all things
I have learned both to be full and to be hungry,
both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me.
~ Philippians 4:11-13 ~
Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord,
among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.