Sunday, July 10, 2011

Praise Him…at all times

I will declare Your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise You. ~Psalm 22:22

Yes. Right after writing my previous entry, I had this prompting to sincerely mean a prayer in my heart for a heart of thanksgiving and praise, no matter what the circumstances are. By His grace, I prayed that my heart will have nothing but praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, all the days of my life, all the times of these days.

For everything that comes to me happens by grace and my every response to it should be by faith in Jesus, it is only logical that I should be thanking and praising Him all the time. Because, indeed, by Jesus’ righteousness (not mine), I have been made and given better than I deserve. I read Psalm 22 and was completely moved by Jesus’ response: He was already beaten down and mocked in the cross, deserted by the Father to pay for human sin, yet, human as He was, He never lost His trust and praise for the Father.

You see, this is quite a challenge for me. Before I knew Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior, I had always been a pessimist. I still am. But it is amazing to see God’s workmanship transforming me to be a reflector of His Son in His own perfect time!

The day I prayed this prayer, something bad happened. I was already aboard a public tricycle when I realized that I lost my coin purse. Actually, there was not much in it—just some bills and loose change but for all I cared, it was my hard-earned money. And now that I am working, every single peso counts. Besides, for a young professional like me who is still new in the business, that amount of money could have bought me a decent lunch.

I really thought that I only left it in the office but after going back, carefully searching the office, and trying to retrieve my steps for what seemed like a decade, I found nothing.

By His grace and provision, I was able to pay the driver my dues and arrive home safely. But the truth remains: my coin purse, containing my hard-earned money, was lost. I could have dropped it somewhere. I could have carelessly left in some place. Someone could have stolen it when I left the office unlocked for a very short while. Someone could have picked it up from me, without my knowledge. Nobody really knows.

Knowing myself, I knew that I could have thrown in my tantrums, hate the world, and once again, question God. I did have my emotional tantrums with my friend and prayer partner but never did I blame or question God. It was really amazing. I know it was not me; it was the Holy Spirit working in my heart. I had this sweet and calming peace, knowing that everything happens for a reason—not just anybody’s reason, but God’s.

It was most fulfilling to hear my heart and mind silently pray for whoever could have stolen or found it. I prayed that he or she would use the money wisely. I prayed that by the Father’s grace and perfect will, whoever that person is, he or she will come to have the true knowledge and sincere acceptance of Christ’s death and resurrection, and His Lordship over our lives. It is nice to know that I now have someone to pray for and if this someone has not yet accepted Jesus, then, it is a privilege to pray for him or her. It is even nicer to think that Lordwilling, this person will be an addition to God’s adopted children through Jesus. Oh, how the heavens will sing and rejoice for his or her soul!

And I am totally in awe at how God is working in my heart. I didn’t quite expect that He will already give me a challenge the day I prayed for a heart full of thanksgiving and praise, whatever the circumstances. And what’s more, He did not just give me a challenge; He equipped me to conquer such challenge. He really knows best. And I am just amazed.

Thank you, Jesus! You are awesome!  

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