How can you praise God when you are facing trials?
Consider the example of Paul and Silas when they were thrown into the dungeon (Acts 16:16-40). If you were ever in prison during their time, the dungeon was the most miserable place to be in because it was filled with human waste and filth. Yet Luke told us,
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Paul and Silas were not the least troubled. Instead, they were praying and singing hymns. The hymns they sang weren’t just any spiritual songs. They were singing from the Psalms, namely Psalm 113 - 118. These Psalms were songs of praise and deliverance which were often sung during the meal of the Passover Lamb. In short, they were focusing on Christ, and not on their circumstances.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we are to give thanks above, beyond and over our circumstances. Now, it is wise to know the difference in praising God “in” trials and thanking him “for” trials. Under no circumstance are we told by Paul to thank God “for” trials. That means we are to thank God for every accident, crisis and sickness. If we do so, then we would be saying that God is the author of our trials. If He is, then God is guilty for our suffering.
To thank God in every circumstance is to bring God on the scene. In your midnight hour, when things appear the darkest and most hopeless, God will surely hear you and will help you. Years later, Paul wrote a beautiful epistle to the Philippians. In it, he gave a significant revelation,
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
“Be anxious for nothing” literally means “don’t get an anxiety attack over anything”. God will not leave you or fail you. Just keep thanking Him and keep telling Him what is in your heart, and because He cares for you, He will see you through.