If you’re like most people, you find it easy to praise God when things are going your way, when there’s money in the bank, food in the cupboard, and everyone in the house is healthy.  It’s easy to praise God in the good times, but what about when things are NOT so good?
    We often hear messages of faith, telling us not to fear, and so long as things are going our way, we feel like God is indeed on the Throne, making our way blessed, so what is there to fear?   But what about when the bottom falls out of our bucket?  How easy is it to praise God when a job is lost, or the car breaks and we’re facing a huge repair bill?  How easy is it to praise God when no matter how many confessions we are making about being healed by the stripes of Jesus, the symptoms of sickness don’t get better, but rather grow worse?
    I can answer that question right now.  It is just as easy to praise God in hard times as it is in good times.  However, during the hard times most people fail to praise God.  Perhaps it’s because they think God isn’t worthy of praise when things are hard, but nothing could be further from the truth.  God is worthy of praise ALL the time simply because He is God and we were created to praise and worship Him.  Tell me, does it take any more physical effort to worship God than it does to complain about your situation gone bad?  No, but it does take more SPIRITUAL effort.  There’s just something that seems particularly hard about giving God glory, when everything in the physical realm seems to be going against His promises.  And that’s exactly the way the devil wants to make it for you.  It is written in Numbers 23:19-20; God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent:  Hath He said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?  Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
    The problem isn’t with God failing to keep His word.  The problem is a failure on our part to perceive Him working in our lives, thereby causing us to think He isn’t keeping His word.  Therefore, we tend to praise God as we see Him working in our lives, and the praise starts falling off when we don’t think He’s working, as if somehow God must earn our praise by His performance.  Let’s keep the main thing, the main thing.  God is the Almighty, and for that reason alone, He deserves our best worship and praise, period.
    Actually, God is not changed whether you praise Him or not, for there are legions of people and angelic beings who continually praise Him around the clock.  But as YOU praise God, YOU are changed.  As you praise God, He opens your eyes to see how little your problems are in comparison to how big He is. His majesty and awesomeness come into view and suddenly, your problems don’t seem so big anymore.  In fact, the more you have your eyes upon God, the less you will have them on your problems.  Why is that?  Well, for one reason, we are made with the ability to give our utmost attention to only one thing at a time. 

   Allow me to give you an example: you’re driving to work, thinking about an important client you have a meeting with when you get there, and as you’re crossing an intersection you see a car which ran the traffic light about to hit you.  What is your full attention on right now?  The meeting at work?  Not likely.  In fact, you’ve probably forgot all about that meeting, because your priorities have shifted in an instant of time.   Now it’s about just staying alive, and nothing else is as important.
   Praising God changes the priorities in your life, and puts Him on the throne of your life where He belongs, allowing HIM to move the mountains in your life.  After all, you can’t move them anyway, and all the stress you have in your life right now attests to that.  But God isn’t overwhelmed with your problems.  In fact, all the collective problems of every human being on earth aren’t stressing God out at all.  He has the answer, the cure, the complete solution to every problem, and just because you can’t see Him solving them this instant doesn’t mean He isn’t doing it.    Remember, in order to bring solution to YOUR problem, God may have to affect the lives of hundreds of other people that are interacting with you, some nearby, others afar off.  God’s job is bigger than your mind can perceive, for He isn’t just concerned about solving YOUR problems, but those of ALL who are calling upon Him.  You may be praying, asking God to cause a certain person to pay you what he or she owes you.  That debtor may be asking God to make a way for that debt to be forgiven, because he or she cannot pay it.  So God is presented with answering the prayers of two people He loves who are asking opposing things.  Do you see beyond your problem here?
    Praising God puts things back into their proper perspective, and brings order into your life, which may be in chaos right now, allowing Him to work that which is best for all concerned.  It really isn’t about winning or losing in life, it’s about praising God, win OR lose.  That’s something we really don’t want to think about, do we?  We’re taught by so many that if God loves us, then He will never allow us to lose.  I wonder what Job was thinking about while He was going through all the torment he faced?  He had lost his children, his possessions, and his health.  We know he wished he had never been born, because he thought God no longer loved him.  It is written in Job 2:9-10; Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity?  Curse God, and die.  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh.  What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?  In all this, Job did not sin with his lips.
   But what did we see happen at the end of Job’s trials?  He was blessed DOUBLE FOR HIS TROUBLE.  Here all that time it looked like God had turned His back on Job, as sometimes we have thought God has done in our difficulties.  But all the time when it was looking like God wasn’t working in Job’s behalf, God was busy gathering a double blessing up for him.
   Right now, just praise God.  Give Him your very best worship, for He is worthy.  Determine that, win or lose, you are going to praise God, no matter what.  But don’t count on losing, because that isn’t God’s plan for you.  It’s just that winning takes effort on both parts, yours and His.  If you aren’t doing your very best, why would you expect God to do HIS?
   Praise God, no matter what it looks like, no matter what it feels like, for He is worthy!