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Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., explains how people who are hurt and suffering still have reasons to praise God.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:2)
Today’s big question: how can brokenhearted people have the ability to praise God?
In the continuation of our series on praise, we come to a tough question. How can you possibly find it within you to praise God when you have a broken heart? Most would agree that praising God should not be dictated by our own mood or circumstance. While this is easy to agree with in principle, dealing with affliction can be truly difficult in practice.
David was known as being a man after God’s own heart, and he wrote many Psalms of praise. David also knew what it was to be afflicted. He ran from his own people, fled from his king, was broken in sin, and bore the weight of a nation at war. Sometimes, when reading David’s Psalms, you can recognize a hurting heart reaching for God’s healing. Yet David never seemed to lose sight of the praiseworthiness of our sovereign God.
The people of Israel had to deal with all sorts of tragedy, and much of this tragedy was brought upon them by their own sinfulness. When you read through many of the prophets, you find the constant unheeded warnings for Israel to repent, give up their idols, and follow the Lord. As a result of continued disobedience, Israel was captured, exiled, and even slaughtered.
In such a brokenhearted state, how could you praise a God who used the other nations to punish you? We see death all around us today. Sin in others affects our lives, just as sin in our lives hurts others. We live in a world that screams out the Curse of the holy God on a rebellious creation. This is ultimately all our own fault because we are sinners. Sin is devastating, and it has had devastating consequences.
Read through Psalm 147 to see the solution. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He holds this world together, He knows His own creation, and He knows every operation of every law He ordained. He will also punish the wicked—all those who reject Him—and save the humble.
If you are brokenhearted today, you have great reason to praise God. He is the victor over this world, evil, death, and even Satan. God is the Creator and the Savior. Psalm 147 reveals that He is all-powerful and imparts His victory to all who are humble enough to seek Him.
In Jesus Christ we can know that our sufferings are temporary, because our eternal, ever-present, and infinitely wise God will heal every wound. He is not only just and holy, but also gracious, merciful, loving, and good, with infinite power, wisdom, and presence. Brokenhearted? Trust in Him and praise Him.
Today’s big idea: God is the most powerful healer for all eternity. Praise Him.
What to pray: praise God for His unfathomable grace.