Praising Through the Pain
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I could give you a few cliche inspirational phrases on rejoicing in pain and then send you on your way, but the reality is, this is one of the hardest aspects in the believer's life. Praising through the pain can not merely be an exercise of self will or toughening up. If we fall back on our flesh to be able to continually rejoice or praise in trial, we will eventually burn out. Praising through the pain and rejoicing in God through trials is a deeply gutting act of surrender; a refiners fire. It causes us to acknowledge that we can not in ourselves muster up the sustained might to defeat the enemy coming against us, but rather that we need the Lord and His power to be unleashed into our situation. Sometimes we are backed into corners where all we can do is say, Abba! In the moments when your strength and flesh fail, it is the unchanging Word and unfailing power of God that enters in. Yahweh is ALWAYS faithful to perform His Word. I have found myself many times lately saying, 'Father, I have nothing to give you but my whole heart and my body for your service. I ask that you unleash Your power over this'
It is up to us to choose to speak and think God's Word into situations, emotions, thoughts, and pain. If you find yourself so overwhelmed, that you can barely speak or pray, it can simply be tears and the groaning of the Holy Spirit within us that is an offering up to the throne of grace. What we can not do is allow the enemy to take massive chunks of territory in any area of our life, and if he has already placed his territorial flag in some aspect of your life, it is time to take back that territory inch by inch. This is why the scripture highlights the vast importance of taking thoughts captive and casting down imaginations and every high thing that looks to exalt itself above the truth. The scripture when met with God's Spirit, is power. If we are born again, baptized in the Spirit, and actively aiming to walk in the Word, we have access to victory in everything. The access is there, but we must learn to use the weapons well. Salvation, Truth, Righteousness, Faith, Peace, and the Word being wielded against the lies and fiery darts.
I do not think that praising through the pain always comes with a smile or is about pretending to be okay when you feel broken. I think that praising and rejoicing in trial, is about acknowledging truth and Yahweh's authority in the face of the ugliness we encounter. In the depths of pain, this may look like more like laying curled up in your bed with tears streaming down your face uttering the Word of God under your breath to combat any lies coming into your mind. That my friend, is rejoicing in trial. It is acknowledging that God is still God, He is still the author of our blessed hope, still faithful, and His Word is always right. It is acknowledging what is unchanging in the middle of the tossing waves. He is the God who speaks and the wind and waves obey Him. We can choose truth, even If we can only get in out in a whisper. This is how we overcome.