Life is full of problems. Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, educated or a high school dropout, you will experience your fair share of trials and tests. For the last three years God has really been working on me and I finally stopped running from Him during the summer of 2014.
That summer I developed a hunger and thirst for God because I was tired. Tired of doing things my way, tired of being disappointed, tired of going in circles and tired of living a mediocre life. Sure I had lots of things going on for me but there’s nothing like the inner peace you gain from giving God a real chance.
I started going back to church every week but not just being a spectator. I started participating. I joined a ministry, I started writing about God and I even started a morning and evening ritual that involved reading scriptures and devotions.
One thing that I’ve learned is that praise makes everything better.
Praise and worship is like food for the soul. My church is the best at it but I don’t look at how they praise and worship as entertainment. I look at it as an invitation to do the same and fully feel the presence of God. Not only that, praise is powerful for your mind. It shifts your focus from your problems to the problem solver.
Praise is about thanking God for all that He has done and it’s critical for putting your problems into perspective. When you look back on all the blessings you have, the illnesses you’ve come out of or how God has spared your life or the life of a family member or friend, how you have food to eat and how you have breath in your body to keep pressing on to the next day. Your spirit can be eased and know that if He did all those things, surely He can fix whatever is going on now.
It’s all about perspective and being humble enough to know that you are not owed anything. Humility and thankfulness with take you a long way and it makes your problems very small compared to the problems of others.
Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to when I need help with shifting my own focus (because I’m not perfect and I have to practice at this everyday too):
“Sovereign God” – Maurette Brown Clark
“For Every Mountain” – Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers
“A Chance” – Malcolm Williams & Great Faith
“I Smile” – Kirk Franklin
“Could’ve Been Me” – Kirk Franklin feat. Tye Tribbett and J. Moss
“Trouble Don’t Last Always” – Timothy Wright
“Every Praise” – Hezekiah Walker