Praise for the Future
Unrealistic. Naïve. Delusional. That’s what many people would say about praising God for things that haven’t happened yet. It seems like new-age positive thinking, or maybe “word of faith” kind of manipulation, as if God could be moved by our ability to convince ourselves of whatever we want. Clearly, we don’t want to manufacture worship for our own ends.
But think about this from God’s point of view. What does it say when we can’t bring ourselves to thank him for answered prayers ahead of time or praise him for his future goodness to us? It says we’re holding back a piece of our souls, perhaps because we’re afraid of being disappointed or wrong. At some level, we’re confessing serious reservations about his goodness.
But we know God is going to be good in the future; it’s who he is. We know he will answer prayers in some way that will be satisfying and fulfilling; that’s what he does. We know he is not going to withhold blessings from those who trust him; he promised he wouldn’t. So why not go ahead and express full confidence in those facts by expressing gratitude for things not yet seen? Why not praise for his goodness to come in addition to the goodness we’ve already experienced? Why not go all in with every piece of our hearts?
Try that this week. Even if you have to battle through some self-accusations of “faking it,” persevere until it’s authentic. Watch what it does to your mood, your experiences, and your relationship with God. Notice how much lighter you feel. Because praising him—whether for past, present, or future—is always appropriate and true.
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