How can a spiritual focus survive in the midst of the events of these stressful days? We tend to consider worshiping God if and when chaotic events cease, or at least when they become small enough to be temporarily brushed aside. Unfortunately the huge unplanned intrusions to our agenda are becoming the norm. One wonders if God has lost control, and if He is still sovereign during what looks like the worst of times. Can genuine worship take place in times of trouble?
The Psalmist David was no stranger to discouragements and struggles. It was out of those very difficulties that God showed his strength and sufficiency. David's faith matured under the intense pressure. Worship in times of plenty is shallow in light of the worship that God generates in the anguished heart. Worship is praising God's sovereignty in the affairs of men regardless of the conditions. Pointing upwards in the end zone after the touchdown is easy. Private prayer after a devastating loss is a whole other matter.
Our problems pale in light of the persecution and political pressures of history. What was it about those Bible heroes that enabled them to thrive in their love for God amidst the most adverse circumstances? How about the apostles singing in the prison cell? What did Abraham see other than the difficult assignment before him when he was called to offer his son Isaac? How could Daniel be so confident in continuing his daily worship in spite of great political pressure? Years of unfair treatment didn't stop Jacob from consistency and a growing faith in the Lord. The list of heroes of the faith is long, much longer than our problems.
Instead of becoming the obstacle to communion with God, unwanted circumstances can become the gateway. Rather than inhibiting fellowship with Him, they prompt it. They give us reason to seek Someone greater than ourselves and our problems. Paul said that he welcomed infirmities, because when he was weak, the power of Christ rested upon him. God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. We know that He plans only that which is for our best. Our greatest achievements may come as we seek Him in the midst of all that overwhelms us.