by David Sisler

It is easy to praise God in bright sunlight when we know that he is smiling on us. When darkness hides his face, most of us find it difficult to praise him. But that is the time praise is the most important. How can we develop an attitude of praise when the shadows surrounds us?

First of all, wait with patience.

For reasons that you do not understand, your Lord has called you into this darkness. It is not a darkness of sin. It is not a darkness that comes from abandoning the Lord. It is a darkness of testing.

Wait with patience because in this darkness, only the Lord can see you. In the light, when others can see and others can cheer your efforts, it is easier to wait. In the darkness, keep the words of Jesus close to your heart: “Your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.”

Second, don't think of deserting because it is night.

It is easy to slip away when no one can see you run. To serve at night is to serve in a position of trust. When dangers are so apparent, who would you ask to keep watch? Your most trusted servants, of course.

God knows who he can trust to praise him in the darkness of difficulties. If he has asked you to praise him at midnight, it is because your worship, even in distress and adversity, is precious to him.

Paul and Silas were in no position to physically desert while they were locked in the Philippian jail. But if they had kept silent in the darkness the only sounds that night would have been of the earthquake and of prisoners escaping into an everlasting darkness. Because they praised, all of the prisoners stayed when they could all have escaped. Because they praised, the jailer's hand was stayed from suicide and he and his family were born into new light.

Third, keep watching.

There are only so many hours of night. Then the dawn will break. Don't look toward the direction you last saw the sun go down. Look to where you know it will come up again.

You may not be able to see Jesus in your time of testing, but he can see you! Like the disciples that night on storm-tossed Galilee, he can come to you in your darkness.

Peter wrote: “You are chosen people. You are the King's priests. You are a holy nation. God chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” God chose us so we would praise him. Even in the darkness.

Fourth, you may be enclosed by darkness, but the darkness cannot get inside of you.

If you have been called to praise in the night hours, you must perform with great care. In the brightness of the noon day sun, a workman might lay down his tools because he can easily see them if he needs to pick them up again. A guard might lay down his weapon because the light of day makes it easy to locate in an emergency. But in the darkness, if you lay down your implements of service, you might not be able to find them.

Carelessness can be fatal at any time, but if you have been called to praise at night, be especially careful. The darkness is deceptive, but the darkness is also deadly. The world lives in darkness. Sinners love darkness because it hides their wickedness. Don't let those who live in darkness tantalize you into carelessness.

Finally, be expectant.

Look! Can't you see that first grey finger of the dawn? A moment ago, there was no hope, now there is a beam of light. “Until the day breaks, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a young deer upon the mountains!” Keep on praising him. Don't stop praising him. Right there in the distance, running directly towards you – it is your Lord!


Copyright 2003 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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