Everyone’s life goes through seasons the same way as the seasons of nature change over time. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you’ve already seen that the life of faith is in contrast to the life of the flesh. This is an important distinction because the lines between flesh and faith should never be blurred, especially when life gets hard.
Hard times come to everyone, but for believers, the trek through life’s dark valleys looks very different. Your capacity to triumph through adversity is going to start with your determination to walk by faith, not by sight, as explained in Hebrews 11:13. When life is hard, you’ll struggle with the temptation to walk in the flesh, by what your eyes see, instead of by faith, what you can’t see but know to be true because of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, the Apostle Paul wrote that we have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, ‘I believed, and therefore I have spoken.’ So we also believe and "speak." In Matthew 12:4, Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. How you see your situation, with the sight of your faith or your flesh, will be affected by how you speak of it. In the hard times of your life, what’s really controlling you on the inside will show itself through the things you say about your situation.
That revelation can be a good thing if you’re willing to acknowledge your weak areas and give them to the Lord. Here are some reasons why we should pray even when times are bad.
There’s a time for every purpose under heaven.
In your life, you’ll have warm sunny seasons, seasons of choppy waters and high winds, icy breezes or seasons of harvest, intense heat, seasons where it looks like everything is blooming and seasons where it seems like everything has died. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there’s a season for everything and a time for every purpose under heaven. While seasons come and go, the Lord’s Word endures forever, and our hope in Christ is a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
When life’s storms come, you must anchor yourself to the rock of your salvation, and it’s through praise and worship that your connection to God becomes stronger. There are indeed seasons in your life that change, shift, start, and end, but what doesn’t change is God, which is why your survival in the storms depends on the strength of your connection to Him.
When life is bad, God is still good.
In John 16:33, Jesus said we would have tribulations in this world, but hard times in life aren’t God’s fault. Realistically, the hard times that come in life are the result of our choices, the sinful condition of the world, the actions and choices of another person, or an attack from your adversary. In hard times, you might feel like there’s nothing to praise God for, but truthfully, there’s always a reason to praise God, even in the darkest and worst times of life, because God is always good.
What so many believers don’t understand is that praise and worship are about God alone. His worthiness isn’t connected to the challenging experiences of living life in a fallen world. The devil, your enemy, understands the power of praise and worship better than anyone because He once existed in the presence of the Lord. That’s why, when hard times come, the devil tries to disconnect you from God’s presence. Your enemy knows that God’s Holy Spirit lives in a different dynamic when you show your gratitude to God in praise.
If there’s anything your enemy doesn’t want you to do when life gets hard, it’s to get closer to God in praise and worship, which is why you must do it. No, you don’t have to be thankful to God for the hard things. Your gratitude to Him in praise is given despite the hard things because He’s as good and worthy in hard times as He is in good times. If you draw near to Him, He will be faithful to draw near to you, and you’ll find a more profound revelation of His goodness in your hard times. Praise and worship invite the presence of God, and His Holy Spirit will help adjust your vision to see your situation through the eyes of faith, helping you keep your spirit strong in the storms.
Praise turns darkness into light.
Psalm 50:23 reminds us that giving thanks is a sacrifice that honors God, and if we keep His path, He will show us the salvation of God. When all you can see is darkness, the Bible will light your path ahead. The light of His holy presence will give you that light that nothing can extinguish. It’s hard to praise God when life is hard, but praise and worship are victory strategies. Isaiah 61:3 tells us that the Lord gave us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, but we must put that garment on ourselves. We can’t help that hard times will come, but we don’t have to live in endless darkness when we praise the God who is light that darkness can’t overcome.
Praise turns death into life.
The sacrifice of praise is just that, a sacrifice and no sacrifice wants to die. Even Jesus, who willingly hung on the cross, first asked for the Lord to remove it from Him. However, because He chose to die, He was then raised from the dead. We have the same power. Because we worship a living God, we have a living hope. As we praise Christ, who defeated death, we’ll find that what we thought was dead is becoming alive again.
When we offer ourselves as a willing sacrifice to God in praise and worship, through ministry to Him and gratitude, we are sacrificing ourselves to Him. To lift the Lord, we’re sacrificing how we feel, what we see, and our desires. The transformation that praise and worship bring in hard times is within us before we see it outside of ourselves. Genuine praise and worship are God-centered and will keep our spirit vital, our minds focused, and our souls revived. Life can get bad, so that’s why we must praise and worship God, who is good.