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Praise God When We Hurt


The U.S. Navy SEALs train rigorously so they can endure demanding and painful circumstances. Their slogan, “The only easy day was yesterday,” is both encouraging and challenging. On the one hand, it means one has persevered through a strenuous time, but on the other hand, it’s sobering because the current and future days are possibly even more exhausting. Life poses the same challenge for all of us. Sometimes we walk through such an unbearable seasons in our lives that the prospect of tomorrow can seem overwhelming.

If there was ever a man in the Bible who faced difficult life situations, yet still praised God, it was David. He was familiar with pain, but also with praise. His life was a roller coaster of experiences and emotions. His best friend’s dad had it out for him, he lost a child at birth, his kids were a mess—but through all the hurting and pain, he continually praised the Lord.

David repeats a cry to the Lord four times in Psalm 13: “How long . . . ” (vv. 1–2). His prayers are authentic, and his pain is real. He wrestles with his thoughts and feels that God is hidden from him. When we hurt, often thoughts may be the same, “How long will I experience this?” “How long until the wrong is made right?” “How long until I can find peace again?” But notice that even when the future seemed bleak, David’s trust was in God’s unfailing love.

David concludes his psalm with singing because he is certain God still has the whole world in His hands. “I will sing the Lord’s praise for He has been good to me” (v. 6). This was not the first time David experienced hurt, and it would not be the last. The same is true for you and me. But every time David encountered pain, he praised the Lord.

Apply the Word

It is said that courage isn’t having the strength to go on; it’s going on even when you don’t have strength. The next time you encounter hurt and pain, perhaps you can find the courage to praise the Lord. Begin by giving Him praise for the little things in your life. One small step at a time, the Lord wants to take you on a journey.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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