Far too many people today have a consumer mentality when it comes to the church and even to worship. This takes on the attitude of, “Preacher, say something that will make me laugh and make me feel better.” “Choir, sing a song that will inspire me.” “Church, what will you do for me?”
Worship, of course, is not primarily for us but for God. God alone is worthy of the full attention and adoration of our hearts and minds. He alone is worthy to be praised and glorified. However, even though our worship is to be God-centered and not man or self-centered, there are many blessings that we do receive when we truly worship the Lord. I want to remind us of three of those blessings as we think about the power of true worship.
True worship is a powerful…
-Way of comfort and encouragement:
From Job to David to Jesus Himself, we see throughout Scripture the comfort, hope and encouragement that came to those who worshiped the Lord in spirit and in truth. Job fell to the ground and worshiped after he received bad news after bad news. As long as his focus remained on the Lord, Job received the strength and hope he needed to go through trials that you and I would never wish on anyone. Through all of his heartache, Job still declared, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord!” Yes, he later turned to self-pity and questioning God, but when the Lord reminded Job of His sovereign power and majesty in chapters thirty-eight through forty-one; Job regained the perspective of Heaven, confessed, repented and once again worshiped. God then blessed Job even more than before.
Over and over again we read of David making the choice to rejoice, even in the midst of severe loss and affliction. We need to learn from David. There may be times when we do not feel like praising God, but David said, “I will praise Him; I will bless the Lord.” The amazing thing is, the more we choose to worship and praise God, the more we begin to feel like it. Worship begins to turn my attention and focus from myself, other people, my problems and my situation, and it focuses on God. Worship reminds me of who God is, what God has done for me in the past, the power and promises of God, and what God can do for me again if I will trust Him.
Even Jesus found renewed strength, comfort and encouragement from times of prayer and worship. These included His time of temptation in the wilderness, His personal declarations of praise that we read throughout the Gospels, and even the night of despair in the Garden of Gethsemane. Many Bible scholars believe the traditional Passover song that was sung by Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room on the night of His betrayal and arrest was Psalm 118. I want to encourage you to read it and see how it applies to what Jesus was about to endure and how it would have given Him strength, comfort and hope.
True God-centered worship may not immediately change your circumstances, but it will change you. In the next article, we will look at further truths about the power of worship.
In Christ’s service,