Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Conquering through Praise - Martin Wiles

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Psalm 100:4 NLT

On any given day, disappointments can be overwhelming. 

Enter the life of a middle school Language Arts teacher. For the first three weeks of school, the program we use for grades, homework, lesson plans, lunch, announcements, and payment was up and down because our internet was up and down. 

On one particular day—as the students attempted to work through an online grammar exercise, the internet dropped us at least 15 times within 40 minutes. Frustrating. Making lesson plans was challenging due to the intermittent connection. What normally takes an hour took an entire day. Student lunch orders didn’t process. One fellow teacher threatened to throw her computer out of the window. I thought about it myself. Of course, all of this had nothing to do with our computers. 

Since our lives as teachers are so dependent on the internet, several weeks of issues are very taxing and makes finding anything positive difficult. And of course, we have to toss in staff meetings, parent meetings, and other student related matters. 

Yet, there were many reasons to praise. We work in a smaller atmosphere where peer and student-teacher relationships are closer. Fights among students are almost non-existent. So is backbiting and jealousy among teachers and staff. We also get to bathe everything we do in a Christian world view. I can talk about Christ and Biblical principles as often as I choose. In fact, I’m instructed to. 

I’ve encountered some disappointing times during my lifetime. When I’m under a heavy load of whatever, it’s challenging to discover the light—but there’s one. And it is for everyone if they want it to be. 

Knowing Christ as Savior gives us reason to praise Him. Realizing all our sins—past, present, and future—were forgiven at the cross is worth shouting about. God is also omnipotent. He controls everything. The reason for the disappointment is immaterial. He has authority over the situation. Looking for the positive in all situations helps too. We can see glasses of water as half full or half empty. The choice is ours. 

Let God teach you how to use praise to conquer disappointing times. 

Prayer: Father, teach us to praise You even when it appears we have no reason for praise. 

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