We should enjoy this experience. We get to worship God in spirit and in truth. We, as redeemed people get to exalt Christ in a way that even the angels cannot. We join with creation in giving glory to the One who makes it all possible. He is worthy of our praise. And even though we are unworthy on our own, He makes us worthy to give Him honor.
But remember… in the midst of this Sunday experience, someone is hurting while another is celebrating. Someone broke free from an addiction on Saturday night while another a few pews up fell back into an addiction on Saturday night. Someone got a clean bill of health from the doctor on Friday morning while someone on the worship team got a brutal report from the doctor on Friday morning. Someone got a promotion on Thursday afternoon while the nursery worker lost their job on Thursday afternoon. Someone accepted a proposal for marriage on Wednesday while the person sitting next to them had to file for divorce on Wednesday. Someone was shown great love on Tuesday while someone else in their youth group was abused on Tuesday. Someone had a new baby on Monday while their prayer partner lost their child on Monday. A lot can happen between Sundays. God is unchanging. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. But life is fluid. Life is difficult. Life actually stinks sometimes.
It is so easy to forget the pain of others when we are focused on the praise of God. And I would not ask you to shift your focus away from praise. I would suggest that you praise with an awareness of your fellow worshippers.
The apostle Paul wrote this to the early Christians…
“I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
He went on to say in the same letter…
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
These words which seem so far away from those going through pain are meant as a comfort. Those who are basking in the victory of the positive should share these words with those who are suffering in the waves of defeat. These words are to be shared in a sensitive way… but they must be shared. There is hope, grace, mercy, peace, joy, etc. available in the sorrow, because this new life is not based on what we feel, but how we faith. God is our power. He is our shelter. He is our preserver.
Worship God for all you are worth today. But as you lift your heart and hands upward, be sure to hold another up who can’t finds the strength to lift their head from the hands.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.