Years ago, I was talking with a friend about Bible reading. This friend felt that he couldn’t read his Bible without his heart in the right place. It would be disingenuous to do otherwise, y’know?
I totally get where this friend was coming from. After all, there are days when the the hardest thing to do in the world is to open my Bible. Or to sing a song of praise. Or to pray. Those are typically the moments when I’m feeling at my worst.
When I’m feeling worn down from stress. Where I’ve noticed my affection being cooler than I would prefer. Where I’m just weary from waiting for whatever this thing is God is I keep thinking God is going to do (even I’m not always sure what that is). When I’m faced with a tough decision where it’s tempting to play it safe and not move ahead with whatever it seems like God is motivating me to do.
Those are the moments when I absolutely need to do all those things. When I especially need worship him through prayer, through reading the Bible, through singing a song (especially when I’m alone). When I need to use the tools God has given me to cry out, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
I was reminded of this as I was thinking back on Stephen Miller’s book, Liberating King. In the book, he shares about how Jesus rescues us from fear—how he enables us to live by faith even when the world seems to be falling apart. More than that, when the world is falling apart, he wants us to come to him. Miller writes:
Worship is not the naïve thing to do when faced with the choice of walking by faith or cowering in fear. It is not burying your head in the sand or pretending that everything is okay. Worship is staring at the gravity of the situation and throwing yourself upon the grace of the Savior. Worship is running to the Liberating King after all the disillusionment has set in and choosing to trust him, rather than being cynical. Worship makes us brave for the battle of unbelief and prepares us with courageous faith to follow wherever God leads. (52)
Maybe that resonates with you. I hope it does. When following God is hard, we need to worship—in whatever form that looks like for us, we need to stop. We need to throw ourselves upon his mercy and grace. We need his help, all the time. And, thankfully, he will always provide it.