“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
My plane had taken off from Istanbul over an hour late and was now circling Frankfurt for the second time. It was 6:15, my train left at 7 pm. and my train ticket was for this train only. It looked doubtful that I would make it. I could feel the tension of worry building in my body.
God often gives me tests like this, opportunities to trust Him, Will I praise Him in faith, or worry in fear? If I give a response of faith and praise, then God gets great glory, for we are all being watched continually in the battle of life by spiritual beings—angels and demons—as well as people. If I give in to fear, I rob God of glory because I am worshiping the idol of having everything go my way, of being comfortable.
In this case, with His grace, I remembered to praise Him while still struggling with worry, and the inner tension lessened. After the plane landed, I quickly made my way to passport control, then to baggage claim where I waited for my bag—and waited and waited—another chance to turst and praise. Finally it came out. Then there was the long dash to the train platform—I got there with 7 minutes to spare. Whew!
Then it began again, for my train was late! Late enough so I would probably miss the next connection. Another chance to praise God! And I did, this time with more enthusiasm, telling Him that if He allowed me to miss my next train, I was sure He had something better for me.
That is a key aspect here: if our plans don’t work out, we can be certain that God has a better plan. We can trust Him with that. If we are praising Him in the midst of the changes and challenges, we will be more alert to the opportunities He will give, having us meet someone, be an example, share a word of comfort or witness.
In the end, the other train waited for our arrival and I made it home that night. In all this God showed Himself faithful again, while giving me a chance to grow in my faith.
Each such “test” is another chance to put a brick in the wall of faith that God is building in our lives, a chance to live by truth, to give Him honor. We just have to recognize what is happening: “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me and opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord” (Ps. 50:23).
Prayer: “Father, help me to praise you when things are not working out, when failure and problems loom. Help me to be a glory giver, not a glory stealer, praising in faith based on your good character. May you be honored in my life today. Amen.”