How do you praise in the darkness!? How do you praise in the night? When you’re crying out in the silence, it’s hard to believe in the light. So, how do you praise? how do you sing? when your world like ancient ruins keeps crumbling…

This is a thing. Many of us find ourselves in situations in life that seem to prohibit a sense of praise. Our circumstances in collusion with the devil himself call for cause to bring us to grips with the grass roots of our beliefs. (Sound like political jargon yet?). I’ve grown to temper my vocabulary and lifestyle so as not to offend or debase others around me, and while that still isn’t my intent, I’ve got rather large feet making it difficult for me not to step on your toes. I’m gonna stop dancing around who I am because… it’s exhausting.

The Problem

This world is a dark, dark place. That’s it. That is the problem.

So, how are we supposed to be joyful, happy Christians and shining lights in a dark world? It is particularly hard when everything seems to be against you. The devil will try to steal your joy, but he can’t read your mind; God can,  but satan cannot.

If you don’t want the enemy to know something, don’t say it out loud. Satan will use anything he can to try and destroy you, but he doesn’t know everything… In fact, he doesn’t know anything about you that you don’t let him know.

The Trap

The infinitesimal minutia of modern cultural conversation is beginning to drive me batty. I’m not even kidding here. If it weren’t for truly mindless and bipartisan apps like Marco Polo, (which keeps me in touch with my nephews and niece), or Snapchat, (exclusively for the use of filters, not posting), I’d say there was no hope in social media today.

However, I’m a huge proponent of going where the market is not. Meaning, if Facebook is the most popular social platform, I’ll use Twitter. And if Snapchat surges, I’ll use Instagram. But what we say on social media is as good as saying it out loud. The opinions we voice-, I’ll say this, (and probably get flack for it), but social media is the devil’s best tool to use YOU to ruin your own witness.

The things you say, posts you read and like, what you share and fill your mind with, it matters. More than that, others can see how you live your life online, be careful and be Christlike in what you do. But, even more than that, be careful what you say and how you respond to and treat others on social media because it does matter! (Okay, I’ll hop off my soapbox now).

CONFLICT

I’m an introvert wanna-be. To clarify, I live in a bus with 7 other people 24/7, 365. I don’t get to be an introvert; ain’t happening. You know, I don’t like conflict and strife any more than the next guy. And with all of this side taking, firing lines being drawn in the sand, and everyone taking up fists against each other, (I was gonna say guns, but…), conflict seems inescapable.

Not only that, it is hard to find a reason to praise. Indeed, when you look at the world, it might seem impossible to praise. God is worthy to be praised even if the world is in a mess. (Side note: the world has always been in a mess since Adam).

Reasons to praise

We should never have to find a reason to praise; life itself is reason enough. But sometimes we get so down, so depressed, so discouraged, (believe me, I’ve been there and lower even); sometimes we even despair of life. And in those times, it’s difficult to praise or find a reason for joy. I’m here to give you some hope in the dark time you’re facing.

If all of these paragraphs seem disconnected, it’s because I’ve written them all at different times during my busy day today. But today I attended several teaching sessions on various Bible passages, (we’re at a Bible conference in Louisiana), and they all seemed to hammer the theme of this post into my mind. One truth and real reason to praise has stood out to me today, and I’m going to share it with you:

We have already won.

The game is over. Satan has lost and Jesus has won the victory over death, hell, and the grave. We can praise because no matter what happens to us in this life, we are winners through Christ. Live or die, we win. Praise Jesus for the victory over sin in your life and for his glorious grace to you!! What more reason do you need?

As always, thanks for reading.

the anonymous novelist

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