It was mid-January 2010 when a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, bringing massive devastation to that island nation. As this GemLight was being produced, a report from Agence France-Presse said a government minister stated 70,000 bodies had already been found and there were fears a total of 200,000 may be dead.
Days after the quake, some Haitians, either desperate for the necessities of life or just taking advantage of the situation, began to loot stores. Others began to grow impatient as other nations scurried to provide relief for the stricken country.
However, there were quite a few Haitians of a different spirit. The Sunday after the quake, some of those that held to the name of Christ assembled at their church buildings, or what was left of them, or just assembled. Instead of complaining and blaming God, these people praised Him with exuberance and a joy that others could not imagine, beating drums and lifting up their voices. Of course they praised God that they survived, but they also praised Him for His goodness and faithfulness, and that He was in control, no matter what.
Realizing God is in control and trusting Him even if things are not going our way brings a powerful peace to our lives as we enter His presence with praise. These Hatians demonstrated to some degree what is meant by offering a sacrifice of praise. They serve as a good example to follow.
Moreover, such commitment is encouraged in the Word of God. When it seemed like everything around him was wrong, after he had communed with God, Habakkuk by the Holy Spirit said (Hab. 3:17-18), "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Yes, it takes some faith to do that. However, it can be done if Christ is dwelling within us. Peace, joy and strength await those who surrender, place their full trust in Christ, and determine to praise Him no matter what. After all, all material things in this life are transient. It is the eternal that counts. As we, in faith, worship and praise God despite our situation, we will be ushered into His presence and touch a comforting facet of eternity.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13
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