More Worship, Less Whine
Marybeth Whalen

“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship.” Job 1:20 (NIV)

When good things happen to you do you respond with worship? How about when bad things happen? I know my first instinct isn’t to worship. It’s to whine. I whine about my doubts, my fears, my own misgivings. I whine about what I think might happen. I whine about how unfair life is. Worship, I must confess, is usually the last thing on my mind.

When I read today’s verse, I was taken aback at Job’s response to the news that all of his sons and daughters had died. Poor, longsuffering Job earned his place in history as a man who stayed true to God despite his circumstances. He was faithful and trusted God no matter what got thrown at him. He lived in expectation that, even though things looked grim, God had a better plan. So when he received terrible, heart wrenching news, his first response was what we see in today’s verse: worship.

I recently had a situation where I got a bit of good news, mixed with some bad. In that moment, I had two choices to make: praise God for the good or dwell on the bad. Guess what I chose? I went straight to the bad, lamenting the negative and worrying about things I couldn’t control.

The next day in my quiet time I read this verse. God got my attention, reminding me of how I had responded; how my attitude was certainly not pleasing to Him. I confessed to Him that I was wrong and asked Him to help me remember to worship in good times and bad, to find a reason to praise Him no matter what. The point of our worship isn’t to respond to our circumstances but to respond to His character, to seek His heart and not focus on ours.

My hope is that every day, in every circumstance, I will choose worship as my first response. I want to follow Job’s example, even when I don’t feel like it, even as worries and doubts threaten to take over. I want to build into my life the habit of worshiping a lot more and whining a lot less. Will you join me?

Dear Lord, please help me remember to worship as my first response instead of whine. Help me to seek Your heart instead of focusing on my own. I want to honor You in the bad times, as well as in the good. Help me to remember it is not my circumstances that matter, but Your character. And that is always worthy of praise! Most of all, thank You for Your patience with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life by Louie Giglio

Visit Marybeth’s blog

Worship: Nearing the Heart of God by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer

The Reason We Speak, General Editor Marybeth Whalen

Redirect your focus when bad things happen with Seeing God in All Things

Application Steps:
The next time you receive good news or bad, determine to respond in worship. Ask a friend to hold you accountable.

Reflections:
If you have already formed the habit of worship as a first response, how did you build that habit into your life? Visit Marybeth’s blog today to share any ideas you might have on this.

Power Verses:
I Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (NIV)

Job 5:11, “The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

Blogger KARUNIA said...

Hi Marybeth

I am Flora from Bandung, Indonesia.
Thanks for the devotional today. We know the rule in Bible very different with the common rule of universe. Worship at the misery is very hard to practice but if we want to try we will find that our stress flow with word by word in that song. Praise God for all my testimonies when I got weak,down and stress the song come a head at that time. I never think what song to sing or what word of the song can match with my condition. Hmmmm.. ya, we need to aware that we can't face any prob. without HIM and all we face just with Him at that time and forever. Despite the song as our worship seem as "knife" for a moment but naturally will bring bright feel and hope. Thanks for share...

Flora S.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...Thank you for this reminder! I can unfortunately think of several times I have whined this week alone. Forgive me, Lord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I struggle with this....Thank you for these encouraging words! Our God is worthy of our praise regardless of our circumstances, but sometimes we forget about worship and act in the flesh, especially when facing life's hard punches. Lord please forgive me for having the wrong outlook on my problems. I choose to praise you today for what you've already done, where you've brought be from and where you're taking me! Blessed be your name!

This so fitting for me! I sprained my ankle working out and I've been whining all week about it! I've been depressed and down and frustrated by all the things I can't do! Thanks for giving me inspiration to have a better perspective!

Anonymous Jolene said...

This devotional brought back a memory from years ago. My husband and I were attending the funeral of a friend who had died in a tragic police diving accident - he was trying to rescue two boys. Our friend left behind a beautiful wife and four boys of his own. During the Christ-centered service in front of hundreds of people, I will never forget his widow lifting her hands in praise to her Lord and Savior. What a testimony that was to me and those with us on that difficult day. We can choose to worship no matter the circumstances because we trust in an amazing God!

The point of our worship isn’t to respond to our circumstances but to respond to His character, to seek His heart and not focus on ours.
This sentence really got my attention today. It convicted me of how petty most of my whining is, and how often I complain to God. Thanks for the reminder to praise and worship in all things, big and small, good and bad

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what worship really looks like. My husband last night told me that he wants a divorce, that he is done trying to save our marriage. I'm a stay at home mom and we have 3 kids ages 1-7. I don't want to leave my children with others just to go back to work. I want to see God in this. My head says to trust him but my heart is full of hurt and fear. God has promised that a marriage he brought together, no man can separate. I don't know if I'm allowed to be so bold as to claim this promise. I thought I saw God moving but then I was thrown another curve ball. I don't know what he wants from me. Have I not confessed all my sins? I'm I not praying enough? Why would a man chose to leave his family? I'm I allowed to ask these questions? Is the point of the story of Job to know God rather than answers?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The timing of reading this devotion and experiencing weakness in my struggle to continue being a non-smoker is not coincidental....I was having a pity-party and then hit my "proverbs 31" link...and He spoke to me...thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the lady whose husband wants to leave. Money seems to be one of the reasons why many marriages are falling apart nowadays. Unfortunately, the two partners have to work to make ends meet and children often suffer the consequences. But it doesn't have to be that way. Having your children being taken care by someone else might give them some space to miss and cherish you. You just have to make sure is someone that you trust entirely and pray to God everyday to take care of them. I don't know the whole story behind the few words you wrote but marriage counseling can be very helpful, if he's willing to go with you. I know is very hard, I've been there, but God was there every step of the way. You can ask God as many questions as you would like as long as they are not asked with entitlement. If he decides to try to make the marriage work again, try to compromise. Ask your husband if part-time work would be ok, instead of full-time. Marriage is about compromise. God Bless!!

Rosa Figueroa

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really dislike it when God is so blunt and hits me smack in the head with a wake up call. Thank you for your devotionals. They oftern are exactly what God is working on in my life. All I can say somedays after reading them is..."Yes, sir."

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