A Strange Praise
Peer pressure, sex, drugs, temptation, dating, drinking, partying, violence, suicide, pornography or trouble. These are examples of the things that we as young people struggle with. And if we are not careful these things can destroy our life. May seem weird but these things can push us to deal and give into these things. For example, dealing with peer pressure may cause you to give into peer pressure. Because you are continuously pressured with a certain temptation that may cause you to give into that temptation. It's confusing, it's puzzling, it's baffling, it's mystifying, it's bewildering because we in the mist of having to deal with these things on top of other things instead of just giving up which is the easiest thing to do, God actually wants us to muster up a praise.
O yes it seems strange to do so but the bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." When I was a younger I use to always hear my Dad say that the safest place to be in is the will of God. God's will is his word and God's word is his will. And here in 1 Thessalonians God's will is that you give thanks in everything.
The bible says that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose. I am encouraged and hope that you are also. Why are we encouraged Junior? Because now I understand that what looks like it's gonna kill me is really gonna help me live. What looks like it's gonna destroy me is really gonna help build me up. (My God!) Therefore we are to give God a praise even though we are hurting, even though we are in pain, even though we are dealing with mess. Isn't it strange to give God something we really ain't in the mood of giving.
Young people you may be confused by what it means to praise continually and give thanks always, in every situation. But won't that lead to denying your true feelings? Does it mean when you hit your finger on something you have to jump up and shout Thank you Jesus? Does that mean when you get into a car wreak you have to shout Hallelujah? Does it mean that when everything in your life is all of a sudden started to fall apart you have to shout run around the church on Sunday? Isn't it dishonest to give thanks when in reality YOU DON'T FEEL THANKFUL?
Well the bible doesn't command us to FEEL thankful in every situation. It doesn't command us to make ourselves have positive feelings. Instead, it commands us to give thanks. To give thanks when you don't feel like is not hypocrisy its obedience(2). To praise God and give him glory when you don't feel like it is not being fake its obedience! I try to tell the youth at my church that you don't have to wait till you feel something to give God praise. I told them that sometimes on my way to church I PLAN on shouting. I ain't got to feel nothing to give God praise. Why you gotta wait till God send his spirit down to touch you for you to turn around and give him praise. Praise him on your own! The song writer says, "When I think..." not when the spirit gets high...not when I feel like it...not when the spirit hits me...I ain't just gone "let things happen." Ahhh when I THINK...! God is worthy of all the praise at all times. David said "I will bless..." what if the choir sucks, what if there ain't no music, what if the service is boring. What if the spirit don't touch me! Does that mean that God is not worthy? Naw! Well how can you have the audacity to only give praise when you feel like it naw... "LET EVERYTHING..."So we young folk have to praise even when it seems like things will never become good. Even when we don't feel like it. One writer says that when that time comes you need to tell God, "God I can't praise you like I did when everything was fine but I do praise you." Ahhh that's good and all but I believe that in the times when it seems that nothing will become good, that's when you should have your BEST praise! (Touch-) A Strange Praise. When you've messed up in life and it seems that all hope is lost that's when you ought to have you best praise. How can I muster forth a praise when I don't even feel like talking to God! Ahhh How can I praise God when I'm mad at the majority of people around me. HOW can I praise God when I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!!! I know that it's obedience but I don't feel like obeying how can praise God. And now Junior you're telling me that when I'm at my worst that's when I should have my best praise? That's kinda strange.
The reason we should praise in tough situations is found in Romans -- And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, and are called according to his purpose. C. H. Welch has expanded on this truth and he said, "The Lord may not absolutely have planned that this should overtake me, (this- what I'm dealing with) but He most certainly have permitted it. Therefore though it were an attack of an enemy, by the time it reaches me, it has the Lord's permission and therefore ALL IS WELL! It's okay because God will make it work together will all life's experiences for good.
My fellow young folk we must praise in every situation. Because Praise helps us obey God's command in James 1:2-4, "When all kinds of trials, peer pressures, temptations, struggles crowd into our lives, my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends realizing that they come to test your faith and produce in you the quality of endurance." Praise is the vehicle or the method that speeds up God's maturing process in our life.
One thing that we youth have a problem with is breaking down when we are dealing with a struggle. We have seen on the news and read in the papers of youth who committed suicide, taking their own life because of what they were dealing with. Young people that didn't know how to deal with peer pressure ended up killing folk and joining gangs. I've seen potential candidates of all of these things. Young folk who did not know how to deal with what they were dealing with and begin to have sex and do drugs to get it off there mind. That's is the wrong way to go about it but see what the church has wrong is that we think that all young folk just have sex because their hormones are high. We think that all youth have given in to drugs and are killing folk because they're bad people and crazy.But NO these things sometimes happen because youth don't know how to handle what they are dealing with.
Let me help you out young folk because you have to open your eyes and understand that there is a God! Though we may have struggles in life we know the God who is able to stop all struggles! So therefore when we have temptations we're not gonna be having a panic attack. While we're dealing life's troubles we not sitting around with a stinking attitude. While we're in the hell of our life we ain't gone be sitting around like bumps on a log. But any youth able to say look at me in the mist of what I going through I still....GOT JOY! One or two youth in here are in some trouble right now but you can't tell it because the joy of the Lord is their strength. I'M IN HELL BUT I STILL GOT A PRAISE! Anybody got a praise in the mist--
These struggles, situations, sexual test and trouble come to make us better and stronger people. And all through these situations the enemy will try to trick us. (You gotta watch this) Because this is when you find yourself dealing with different struggles and the devil someway cons you into believing that it's your fault. The trouble that your dealing with gets so bad that you start believing that you're dealing with this situation because of something you did. The devil will try to make you think that you are out of the will of God. But NAW you ain't done nothing wrong, you just going through a test. We must remember that Satan is a deceiver. (touch-) It ain't your fault! Give God glory in the mist of your mess. Satan is a deceiver. He is a trickster, he's a con artist, he's a slippery customer, he's trying to manipulate this moment. He's trying to confuse this moment. The devil is trying to make you think that the test and situations that you deal with are worthless or in vain. But not so, not so the devil realizes that if he don't trick you into failing then you will be made the better through your mess. I got to get out of here. But he knows that if he don't run you crazy then you'll have more power to defeat him. Yes sir give God glory in the mist of your mess. (Encourage-) Come on through! Tell again come on through did you hear me come on through. So the enemy will try to make us think that this test is gonna kill us and he tries to get us to turn our back on God and give up in the trouble. But instead of giving up we must render up a Strange praise. How would the devil feel if you're sitting in church upset, down, on the verge of giving up because you are going through? He would feel good. He would feel like his job was done. He would feel victorious. BUT WHAT IF you look up and see that God is behind the mess you are going through. WHAT IF you look up and see that God is trying to make you better through your mess and then turn in the mist of your mess and give God praise ANYHOW. That's what it means to give God a strange praise.
The devil would look at you kinda of STRANGE and say...
Hey, I thought I was winning
Hey, I thought that I had tricked you
Hey, I thought that I had almost took you out. But that's right devil -- ALMOST!!!
You almost got me. You almost made me commit suicide. You almost made me give in. You almost made have sex. You almost made knock that dude out. You almost made me slap her. BUT!!!! I have a praise that will send you back to HELL mad as HELL. Anybody wanna talk junk to the devil. Devil...
Isn't it strange how through all that you tried to do to me I still got joy?
Isn't it strange how I can still dance even though things ain't going my way?
Isn't it strange devil how I can shout and give God glory in the presence of those who tried to take me out?
I know it's strange, but it's alright devil throw your best punch, kick your greatest kick, throw your best rock. I AIN'T SCARED!
Greater is he that's in me than he that is in the word. As a matter of fact let me talk a little junk, The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear, the Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid.
My strange praise is the praise that I give God even when I'm in a mess.
When hell is on my back, demons in front, and trouble on both sides. I still got a praise.
Don't get confused now. This praise is not strange to God. Because it's what he has called for. This praise is strange to the devil.
This praise confuses the enemy
This praise is a warning to the devil that, "You can't mess with me"
This praise is letting the devil and God know that I'm strong enough to handle this mess.
And if you give God a strange praise then God will bring you through with perfection. So I don't know how you feel about it but I....don't understand why I should wait until the battle is over but NO, NO, NO I'm gonna shout NOW!