For many of us, when hard times come our instant reaction is to ask God for the pain to cease, for the problem to go away and for His peace to reign. While such a reaction is appropriate, we can also go to Him by singing praises for Him who loves us most dearly.
Our God is faithful. He is with us throughout our lives, including the most mundane and the lowest points that we experience. In return, we should show our faithfulness to Him and praise Him always.
There's a time to be sorrowful and mournful and there's also a time to be joyful and full of praise. And incidentally, these two contrasting periods are more closely connected than some might think at first. In the immediate aftermath of a devastating event or discovery, we're not always focused on how God has pulled us through plenty of times before, how He's kept us safe and guided us when we've felt lost. Our minds quickly go full steam ahead into the future, or rather our perception of what the future will be, and bypass the fact that God has never and will never let us down.
Sometimes the last thing we want to do is the thing that can help us the most. Praising in times of pain is definitely one of those things. We're more likely to look for solutions instead of reasons to be sad when we do it. Plus, it leads us to think about how God lit the way for us so many times before and shifts our focus from our powerlessness to His powerfulness. By actively expressing our faith when it's hardest to do so, we're effectively saying: "Lord, I know you've got this. Thank you."
You might have a selection of worship songs that you turn to and turn up when everything seems to be going wrong, but it's always worth expanding your library. If you're keen to try responding to pain with praise, these worship songs are a great starting point.
"Eye of the Storm" – Ryan Stevenson featuring GabeReal
We can feel as though we're in the eye of the storm when terrible things are happening all around us. But even though we may be completely out of control, God isn't. "Eye of the Storm" is full of lyrics to praise God for His protection.
"Fierce" – Jesus Culture featuring Chris Quilala
With lyrics like "Before I call, before I ever cry, you answer me" and "You cannot fail. The only thing I've found is through it all you never let me down," this song is ideal when you need to be reminded that you're not alone. It will inspire you to thank God that He hasn't abandoned you.
"In Times Like These" – Albertina Walker and The Caravans
We want to hold on to Jesus when times are tough, and not dwell on our fears or anxieties about the future. This song can encourage you to make sure that you're doing just that.
"How Great Thou Art"
No matter how great our problems are, God is greater. This is something that we should acknowledge when things are going well and when it feels as though they couldn't be any worse. And you can do just that with this God-glorifying hymn.
"There is Power in the Name of Jesus" – Tasha Cobbs
There is power in Tasha Cobbs' vocals but there is even greater power in the name of Jesus. This is a great reminder that you don't even need to say much but just calling on Jesus and acknowledging His ability to break every chain can bring you through.