Sometimes it’s difficult to be joyful when we’re facing hardships. But I can tell you from personal experience that praising God can bring us joy in the midst of our problems. I have endured the loss of loved ones and the challenges of life by praising God. Perhaps the best example of how to praise through any circumstance is Jesus’ praise from the cross.
Matthew 27:46(NKJV) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is,
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
In Matthew 27, Jesus is on the cross facing death. He is being wrongly executed as a criminal, most of his friends have fled, and he is bearing the burden of the sins of the world. He cries out “My God, My God, why have You Forsaken Me?”
It would seem that Jesus gives a cry in anguish. It would be easy to assume he was crying out in distress. That may be partially true but if we look closer we will notice Jesus isn’t just crying out in despair, but in praise. In his darkest hour, Jesus utters the first line of a song of praise.
Psalms 22:1(NKJV) My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?
Jesus quotes Psalm 22 which is a Psalm that parallels the Lord’s circumstances in the beginning verses but turns to praise and encouragement in the latter verses. By quoting this Psalm, while dying on the cross, Jesus is teaching us we can praise through anything.
A song of praise can help us remember The Lord in the midst of our hardships. It can help us push away the darkness of despair with the joy of the Lord. We can encourage our hearts with songs that testify of God’s goodness. We can praise our way through anything because we know God is with us inhabiting our praises.