The Story Behind “Still I Will Praise You”

b6090ad8de464eb25fff519b4782b919No matter how blessed we are, there are going to be days that are crappy. That’s just part of life. I feel like sometimes that not only do I not know the answers to some problems that I’m going through; I don’t even know what the questions are! Everybody has days or weeks or even longer periods like this, as much as we Christians try sometimes to just put on a happy face and not let anyone know that we are hurting.

One of the things I love about the Bible is that it isn’t some fake standard that no one can live up to. It’s not a retouched “let’s put everything in the best light” book about perfect people who never had any faults or problems. Who could relate to that? Instead, the Bible is full of real people, real problems, real suffering, and there are examples of some pretty crappy days in the Bible. Now, there’s a lot of good also, a lot of love, a lot of hope, and ultimately God wins (amen!) but there are sections that talk about those worst days that we have once in a while.

Psalm 42:3 talks about one of those times:

My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

The psalmist says, “I remember the good days of celebrating in the house of God, but right now the only food I have to eat is my own tears.” The psalmist continues:

I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

We’ve all had times where we’ve thought: “Where is God? Why is He allowing this to happen?” And the psalmist could have stayed in that place of sorrow and self-pity, but he chose not to. At the end of the psalm, he says:

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

The psalmist made the choice to praise God even in the midst of the storm he was going through. Even though he couldn’t see God, he knew that God was still there and that God was still worthy of his praise. And I have to make that choice in my own life. Am I going to stay in the valley of sorrow or am I going to praise God even in that low place? I have the choice whether to despair or praise.

My song, “Still I Will Praise Him,” is a song about choosing to praise God in the midst of the crappy days.

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