As I have stated before in previous posts, I really, really like the movie "Facing The Giants". It's that "football" movie about a coach who gets a revelation of some key Godly principles. He begins to apply these principles to his personal life as well as the team he coaches. The result is he coaches his underdog team to a State Championship!
What kind of principle could bring about this kind of success? The principle of praise. Coach Grant Taylor teaches his team to praise God when they win, and praise God even when they lose. This sounds too simple right? Not exactly. It is quite difficult to praise God in the rough times; especially when we lose or fail at something. Our culture conditions us to believe that winning alone is true success. And when we lose...we fail. The truth however, is that losing or failing does not make you a loser or a failure. That's one reason why we should praise God even when we lose or fail.
There is another reason we should praise God - even when we lose or fail. This reason is the foundation of the principle of praise. It is because He is simply worthy of ALL our praise. Circumstances do not change the fact that ALL praise is due Him. As a matter of fact, He never changes...even when circumstances do. When we praise Him regardless of our circumstances, we are declaring that our victory lies not in our performance, but in Him. We are acknowledging to Him that He is the only One who can change or even remove our circumstances.
God simply honors and receives praise offered to Him. Praise offered to Him in the hard times is not a product of circumstances. But many times praise offered when times are good (or when we win) is. Have you noticed that when some football players score a touchdown, they kneel down as to thank God? There is nothing wrong with that. He should get the glory. But have you ever seen someone kneel down to thank God when his opponent scores a touchdown? Have you ever seen a quarterback raise his hands in praise to God when he throws a pass that's intercepted?
To praise God in the bad times is not to praise Him FOR the bad times. It is to praise Him in spite of the bad times. Again, He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He is always worthy of our praise. No circumstance will every change that!
This principle of praise can be applied to whatever you do. If you are in business you can praise Him when things are good, and when things are slow. Be grateful for who He is, not only for what He has done. This moves the heart of God. When His heart is moved His hand begins to move! And nothing moves the heart and hand of God more than His principles applied in our lives.
Praise is one of the most powerful forces in the universe because God is exalted above our circumstances. When He is exalted, He is free to be God in our lives. When He is exalted, we see Him instead of our circumstances!
I will end this post with a great example of the power of praise from God's Word. Paul and Silas were being held deep in the dungeon of a maximum security prison. They had been brutally beaten and were chained hand and foot. About midnight they began praising God and praying to Him. They weren't praising and thanking Him for being in prison and for being beaten. They were praising God for His infinite greatness. They were praising Him in spite of their circumstances. Suddenly an earthquake occurred. The chains and shackles fell off of them and the prison doors flew open. In addition, every chain on every other prisoner dropped to the ground! This powerful praise opened the heavens for God to show Himself strong in their behalf. (See Acts Chapter 16) I encourage you to apply this principle in your life. Praise Him in the good times and the bad times....and whether you win or lose!
|Facing the Giants: Bible Study, DVD Leader Kit
By Michael Catt, Alex Kendrick & Stephen Kendrick
Facing the Giants Bible Study - Leader Kit is a small-group Bible study driven by the characters, events, and circumstances in the movie Facing the Giants. Using movie themes and group interaction, this four-week study will help group members conquer their fears, face their giants, and grow their faith. The member book also includes leader helps and icebreakers to enhance your small-group experience. Features:
|Facing the Giants, DVD
By Alex Kendrick
Created by a church in Georgia to evangelize non-believers and encourage believers, this inspiring story about a losing high school football coach with a new game plan will have your whole town talking about trusting God for the impossible! After six consecutive losing seasons and fear surrounding his life, coach Grant Taylor turns to God in desperation. Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith plays out on the field and off! Rated PG. Approx. 112 minutes.