Day Fourteen: Praise Challenge


Did you know that our wounds bring their own kind of worship to God?

Sadly, many people do not know that being a Christian comes with suffering.  Actually, suffering is a part of life, no matter who you are or who you follow.  But being a Christian means your suffering matters.  It means that every wound received in faith comes with the promise of a reward.

What kind of rewards, you might wonder?  There are many.  Some come in the form of refined character, some in the shape of deep joy over the fellowship gained with our suffering Lord.  Each time we are accused, attacked, mistreated, or overlooked, and we turn to God with those pains instead of fighting back, we become more like Christ.  We step into just a fraction of what He endured, on our behalf.

Some rewards look like the beam of pleasure from the Father’s face shining down on us, as we look to Him.  Some come in packages that cannot be opened yet, because they are reserved for a greater celebration in eternity.

But no matter their shape, one thing is certain:  suffering bears rewards, and those rewards bear a form of worship we cannot produce with our instruments or our voices. The Bible says this is a privilege we have been granted, to not only trust in Jesus, but to suffer for Him (Phil. 1:29).

Have you ever considered such a thought?  Have you ever meditated on the truth that your suffering is not something to be avoided, but rather embraced, because it makes you look more like Christ?

I remember once struggling with an onslaught of thoughts I could not stop.  I knew those thoughts were sent from the enemy of my soul, and they were driving me mad.  In desperation, I called out to God, “Make him stop!”  Gently, I heard the Spirit of God say, “I will not make him stop.  Your obedience will make him stop.”

The obedience He spoke of would mean suffering for me.  Doing what God required was going to hurt.  It would mean the devastation of my pride, and it would mean letting go of things that I was holding onto for protection and for comfort.  Nevertheless, He had made it clear that such wounds would accomplish 2 things: breaking agreement with my enemy, and bringing a deeper form of worship to my God.

Today’s challenge is to do what you know God is requiring of you, no matter how much it might hurt.  Jesus knew that going to the cross would mean agony He couldn’t even imagine.  Even though the resurrection would follow, He would still have to face a cruel and painful death.  Yet, He did not run.  He looked for no other option.  Instead, He bowed His head and prayed through, surrendering to God’s will of suffering, so that He could have the reward of greater fellowship with us on the other side.

Like Jesus, we are called to suffer, and our wounds – the wounds gained through obedience to God – will bring rewards we can’t yet see.  But we will never know them until we go there.

Say yes today, to whatever God is asking of you.  And trust that your obedience carries a form of worship that is deeper than your song.  Do what you know is right, and whatever wounds you receive as a result, those wounds will testify of your love for the One Who loves you with and everlasting love.

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