Praise Is Not An Emoji

Smiley face, smiley face, wherefore art thou, smiley face? Indeed, sometimes joy is like the elusive Romeo in Shakespeare’s tragedy, and we are the lovelorn Juliets on balconies, wondering how our only love could spring from our only hate. We hate to be depressed, which ironically, makes us even more depressed. The cartoons you watched growing up probably illustrated depression like a dark cloud following the character around. But in reality, depression makes us that dark cloud. Think about it.

When you’re depressed, you’re a dark cloud that storms out of situations you would otherwise be able to handle. You rain down cats and dogs on anyone who steps on your toes. You’re cold, and most of all, you block out the sun. That is, the Son. You block out the Christ who saved you on what can also be considered as a bad day. If anything, the crucifixion proves that even in depression, you can still do what needs to be done.

You don’t stop breathing because you’re upset, do you? So why is it an excuse to stop being polite, or kind, or functional? It certainly shouldn’t be an excuse to stop praising God. You’re not a flat screen TV, you weren’t created to be ‘up set’ with your back constantly against a wall, and your head hanging low. No. You’re a radio, and you can chose what station to be on, God’s rhythm, or the blues. Because the truth is there’s always going to be something upsetting going on.

Don’t believe me? Just watch. As you read this, your body is in extreme slow motion decay. That is to say, you don’t just die one day, as an old man or woman, peacefully in your sleep. What happens on that day is actually the completion of something that started on the day you were born. Your cells peak, only to steadily decline. You are even now breathing in microbes and exposed to radiation from the sun that can potentially cause cancer (just wait, it’s about to get worse – according to scientists, virtually everything causes cancer, cancer can start out of thin air). It has crossed the minds of everyone that loves you that you’re annoying (every single one, one way or another you have upset them).

You are not the most talented at anything. At some point in the past, present or future, there is someone that does everything you do better than you. Usain Bolt will probably be the fastest man alive, only till the next Olympic Games begins. You are not the tallest, finest, slimmest, biggest person that ever lived. Someone somewhere thinks that you’re evil. Someone somewhere hates your favorite color. Your husband/wife would regret marrying you for at least one split second. Everyone you know will die. The list is endless, so if you want to be upset, you could find a corner, crawl into a ball, and dedicate the rest of your life to crying.

But there’s a better way. There’s always so much good, good that is far superior to the bad, going on. The ultimate of this good is that Jesus took all of your sins, past, present, future, all of it; and gave you His righteousness. I would tell you what that means in practice but the Religious Police might come and get me.
So let me give you a hint – there’s a reason why the gospel is called ‘too good to be true’. There’s only one true suffering that exists in this world, and that is separation from God: hell fire. It doesn’t matter if you have epilepsy, or were blind from birth. One century of burning in hell makes all earthly suffering look like a slap on the wrist in comparison. And guess what? Jesus saved you from that, absolutely free of charge. Hallelujah! You should break out into praise right now for that fact alone. Nothing you do can separate you from the Father’s love, as long as you believe. In fact, Jesus Himself stated that ‘none whom the Father has given unto me shall I lose’. That means you are in an obsessive relationship. Your creator won’t let you out of His sight. You are framed in by His love, and even if you’re silly enough to spend all your days banging your head against a wall, there is relief in heaven, in the arms of the Almighty.

Paul praised God in prison, so trust me, you can praise God during a bad hair day, or with a pimple on your face. Or with your boyfriend cheating on you with your sister, on what was supposed to be your matrimonial bed, two days before your wedding. On your most terrible days, God is good! People you’ve hurt may never forgive you, but God always would. In fact, there is also no gift on earth that compares to the joy of Christ. All the money, all the cars, all the fame, all the adoration, nothing should distract you from praising God.

So whether you lol, praise him. Whether you OMG, praise him. Whether you LMAO, praise him, whether you sad face, praise him. Praise him in the morning, praise him in the night. Hallelujah! God be praised!

Awesome God! Mighty Warrior! Great I Am! El Jireh! Great Provider! El Lion! God most high! King of Kings! Lord of Lords! Awesome Wonder! He that stretched out the heavens with His bare hands! Put out the armies like a candle wick! Spoke the former things and the things to come! The one true King! He is Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta all the way to OMEGA! God be praised! Lover of our souls! Beautiful One! Praise Him!

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