Praise Out of Anquish

27. September 2006 Isaiah 0

Text: Isaiah 38:9-20 Theme: God uses our pain to benefit us. Key verses: “‘In the prime of my life, must I go through the gates of death…?'” (v. 10) “‘I cried like a swift…I moaned…My eyes grew weak…I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!’ But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anquish of my soul. Lord, by such things men live…Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anquish.” (vs. 14-17) “For the grave cannot praise you…The living – they praise you, as I am doing today.” (vs. 18-19) “…we will sing…all the days of our lives in the temple of the Lord.” (v. 20) What God said to me: Dwayne, sometimes I must bring terrible distress into a person’s life in order to break them and get them to look up to me. Hezekiah discovered what it meant to be broken. He wept bitter tears and felt total despair as he faced the real possibility of death. Though you have been spared such anquish, don’t think you are immuned. Don’t think for a moment I won’t bring such trouble and heartache into your life if that is what it takes to cause you to praise me more. True, death can’t praise me. But life out of near death or life in spite of near death – now that is motivation to sing my adoration and fall more deeply in love with me than ever before. What I said to God: Holy Lord, I choose to praise you in all of life, whether life is good or not so good, whether I understand your ways or whether I don’t, when my path is easy and when my path grows hard. By your grace, I will praise you always. May my household, my family, and your Church worship you because you are God and you are worthy…period.