It’s easy to praise God when all is going well, but what about when life turns upside down? When we lived in Louisiana, we went through a period of unemployment that left us scrambling to sell our home before landing in debt. One afternoon as I sat in my van pouring my heart out to God, He asked me, “Do you love me now?” Basically, He asked me if my love was dependent on what He could or would do for me. Would I be a fair-weather Christian looking for a spiritual Genie or was I looking for a true, lasting, intimate relationship?
Thousands of years ago, Noah faced a similar choice. When the world as he knew it fell apart, would he still honor God, or would he choose to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, surrendering all to the Giver of life.
I stumbled upon today’s post, written by my dear friend and debut novelist, Jodie Bailey, when God was showing me what it meant to live a life of gratitude and praise. I hope you are blessed and challenged, like I was, by it.
Genesis 6:9 (GWT)–This is the account of Noah and his descendants. Noah had God’s approval and was a man of integrity among the people of his time. He walked with God.
It’s hard to believe, but the people of Noah’s time were even more depraved than people today. In fact, among the people of the earth, Noah (and likely those in his family) were the only ones who were considered to have integrity. That’s an appalling thing to think about, isn’t it? That in the entire world, only one person walked with God?
Makes our walk seem a little bit easier, doesn’t it? It’s easy to watch the news and lament. I’ve done it many times, so many times that I’ve essentially quit watching the news. (I read it elsewhere. Being uninformed is worse than being angry.) No matter how bad it is right now, at least we have others to pray with and to be there for us. I’ve seen it in the most amazing way over the past month or so, the way believers rally around each other in prayer even when they don’t know what they’re praying for exactly. Who did Noah have to turn to?
Know the other thing? We can’t complain about the way things are. You don’t hear Noah complaining. And he had every reason. The thing is, we can still take action. We can still band together against the wrong in the world. God has us here at this time for a reason. And trust me, it’s not to gripe about the way things are. It’s to change them. Shouldn’t our voices be heard now more than ever? Noah had no one to stand with him. We have countless others. Why do we remain silent? What would happen if we all spoke truth instead of sitting back and watching it happen?
Okay, so my toes hurt. I’m talking about me here. I know I don’t speak out near enough. It’s time to use our voices more, don’t you think?
Jodie Bailey’s first novel, Freefall, releases in November 2012. She has been published in Teen magazine and collaborated on PWOC International’s latest Bible study. She has a B.A. double major in English literature and writing, and an M.Ed. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. She teaches middle school and lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. Visit her online.
Let’s talk about this. How might trials and difficulties reveal the depths of your faith? And how do our actions and reactions, both positive and negative, affect our witness? Do you have any stories you can share of a time when God turned a painful time into a blessing or an opportunity to serve?
We should praise Him in everything we face. When we see ‘bad’, God sees it ‘good’ for us. When we see ‘good’, God sees it ‘better’ for us. Trust Him. I am also learning to put my faith in Him as I continue my Christian walk.
Great comments, Dicky! It all comes down to trust, doesn’t it?