The “Will” to Worship

Before you can worship, one must make a choice to worship. Often people will choose to worship whole-heartedly when things are going well for them. They have received the blessings of God, and are willing to give thanks and worship God as He has shown favor on them. Benevolent gods are easy to worship.

But what about worshiping when things are not going well? Worship can be more difficult as we may not feel like worshiping a God who seems distant, or seemingly unable or unwilling to answer our prayers.

Proper worship is done regardless of our personal feelings at a moment in time. We worship because praise, honor and glory are due His name. He is worthy of our worship, regardless of our circumstances or situation.

Scripture is replete with examples of choosing to worship when external circumstances don’t see to foster it.

Hab. 3:17-18 “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk puts forth a very bleak scenario. There will be no little or no sustenance as major crops fail and indeed the fields produce no food, and there is no livestock to feed the people. Even as they face famine, Habakkuk says his response will be to worship. Notice the “wills”: “I will rejoice” and “I will be joyful”.

There are also many examples in the Psalms of the psalmist “willing” himself to worship, regardless of his circumstances. Even in bad circumstances, the psalmist chooses to worship. Psalm 42 begins with the psalmist crying out to God.

Psalm 42: 1-2 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

This verse is often used to describe someone who is seeking after God, and in the next few verses we see a deep desperation and even depression that David finds himself in. He mentions tears being his food as he is dealing with people taunting him about where his God is. However, verse 5 is key here.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Even in his difficult emotional situation, David chooses to worship. He also repeats verse 5 again in verse 11. This lets us know that even though he acknowledges his emotional struggles, he is choosing to worship anyway.

We need to make sure that our theology is correct when things are going well. God is good all of the time. He is worthy of our praise. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. This will help us “will” to worship when things are difficult.

2 comments to The “Will” to Worship

  • Brittney Mitchell

    I have thought so much about this over the last semester. What brought it on was Job 1:20, when Job has just learned of all the tragedy that has just broken lose all around him. The verse says “He tore his robe and worshiped”. This took me by a huge surprise because I would never, in my wildest dreams, associate sorrow and grief with worship. What I have come to realize is that God’s glory doesn’t change, even when our circumstances do. His fortresses are just as powerful on the top of the mountain as in the valley. I believe it is a discipline on our part to look in the face of difficult circumstances and pain and still worship God. It forces us to rely on him!

  • This is a good reminder Roger to conform my will to Worship.

    Loved the Habakkuk quote.