A Broken Hearts Guide to Worship
“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:1–2).
These are just the first two verses of this beautiful chapter of praise. Even though this is a Psalm of praise written by David, these first two verses pose a significant challenge to us as children of God. Do you see it? In both verses, we see the words, forever and ever, and in the second verse, the supporting words of every day. Yes, this means precisely that. We are to praise our God every day, forever and ever. Exalting God and blessing His name is all fine and dandy when life is going smoothly. But what happens to our praise when life doesn’t go our way, and God almost feels distant from us?
In December of 2016, my husband and I got the heartbreaking news many parents have gotten; our child hadn’t survived to the second trimester. The loss was unexpected and painful. And to add salt in the wound, moments later, the doctor mentioned he thought this could be a sign of more losses to come. At that moment, I was not only mourning the loss of one child, but a loss of future children as well. We came home in shock. There weren’t words to say. My thoughts plagued with grief and anger, and I felt helpless. There was nothing that I could do. So I laid there in tears.
I was scared that the pain would never go away. The next day, I went to an event at my church. My smile was a façade, and I could barely pay attention to the event speaker. The event came to an end and was closed with worship. The song began…
“You were the Word at the beginning. One with God the Lord Most High.”
Do you know the song?
It only took two lines of the song (What a Beautiful Name — Hillsong Worship), my eyes welled up with tears, but not the same tears from the last 24 hours. My voice was incoherent and minimal words probably actually came out of my mouth. It was all I could muster, but that’s the thing, worship isn’t a performance, it is a response to God’s infinite glory. Worship was designed to bless our God, our Savior.
Worship isn’t a performance, it is a response to God’s infinite glory. Worship was designed to bless our God, our Savior.
David understood this, which is why we see the constant progression of pain to praise. Our worship to our God is one thing we CAN do in every season, every day and forever, and ever, because our response of praise is because of who God is. It goes beyond our circumstances.
Praising God became a vital part of my grieving process. I’d play songs during the day, in the car, and look forward to the next chance for corporate worship on Sunday. It wasn’t so much that worship was an escape. It didn’t erase the pain of losing a child. I still had a broken heart and longed for what I had lost. But, worship redirected my focus on the greatness and goodness of God, regardless of what was happening around me.
It gives us perspective! It diverts our eyes from worldly pain and brings our graze to our gracious, merciful, and steadfast God (Psalm 145:8). We see a God who upholds, satisfies, preserves, and draws near to us (Psalm 145:14–20). Though our current situation may be unbearable and relentless, we know we ultimately have VICTORY in our Savior.
I recognized this pain was temporary. I could praise God because He was eternal, and the salvation He offers would one day allow all my pain to disappear. And (for my specific situation), I would one day be reunited with my child in heaven! Not only did I find a new love of worship, choosing to worship in every season has brought me closer to God. Going through suffering that I couldn’t understand why God would allow, actually strengthened my relationship with God.
“You take what the enemy meant for evil, and You turn it for good.”
Another favorite worship song I tend to shout to the heavens (See A Victory — Elevation Worship)!
Now no matter what, I will bless his name! God wants that for you too. He wants a relationship with you.
Though our current situation may be unbearable and relentless, we know we ultimately have VICTORY in our Savior.
And now on the tail end of lockdowns and the devil ready to use the next fear-filled opportunity to destroy us, worship is so important! With church doors again open, we have the blessing of worshiping together! Not only do we have the pleasure of worshipping our Creator and King, but we can share in that joyful experience. Our voices are rejoicing together, deepening and enriching the adoration we have for our Lord. Assembling in worship is an opportunity not to take for granted!
So yes, I started this post as a challenge because I know in the midst of sorrow, it can be hard to feel God is near you and for you (Psalm 145:18). But if you give your pain to God and choose to praise Him in when it’s hard, you will learn that every day and forever and ever no longer feel like a challenge, but rather a desire. Worship becomes a daily habit by choice due to an overwhelming outpour of love and reverence to our Savior! My prayer is that you, too, can discover that in every season and every day, God deserves our praise forever and ever!
Written by: Hannah Orr, Writer, Strategic Engagement
Published by Woodside Bible Church, www.woodsidebible.org