Last month, one of the worship pastors at my church introduced our band to a new song, “Sing My Love,” by Jesus Culture. Everyone in the band, including myself, fell in love with the song at rehearsal on Thursday night. But come Sunday morning, while singing back-up vocals on stage, I noticed several people in the sanctuary were not as enthused. Many arms were crossed and lips cemented shut. For whatever reason, they seemed unwilling to praise.
Some of the common excuses I hear whenever these situations arise are: I don’t like to sing. Or, I don’t feel like singing. As if not liking or not being in the mood for something gives us a free pass not to participate. We are called to make a joyful noise to our God, but too often we remain silent.
But God deserves our utmost respect and praise, regardless of what’s going on in our heads, or our lives.
I remember in high school, when I was going through a rough time, I took my concerns to my youth pastor, Tommy. I wanted to trust God — to give Him all my praise — but at the time, it seemed there was nothing in my life that gave me a reason to. I didn’t feel like singing in church. I didn’t feel like praying at night. I was so frustrated and jaded by a hardened heart. I’ll never forget what my youth pastor said to me:
“Sure, there are times in our lives when we don’t want to praise, but believing in God is trusting and praising Him, even when things aren’t OK.”
Those words were burned into my brain that day, and my relationship with God was forever changed.