Worship in the Midst of Difficulty

“…we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding...”  (Colossians 1:9)

My friend sat across the table from me, and I could see the agitation in his face.  He had just lost his job and was struggling through the emotional roller coaster that such a change of life will bring.  He has a family to care for, house payments to make, food to buy and all the other issues of modern day life.

“What now?” was his question, and “I don’t understand what’s going on” was his response of frustration.  I could tell there were more questions – mostly unanswered – and the growing presence of a big question mark filling his future.

He had acknowledged earlier in the conversation that, in general, many Christians fill their lives with busy-ness and equate their busy lives with some sort of spiritual maturity.  He was also acknowledging with that statement that his own life needed some re-prioritizing and the 12 to 15 hour days at work were a symptom of a deeper issue.

We all seek to “understand” what is happening in our lives and when we experience some kind of major event or shift we seek that understanding with even more focus and aggressiveness.  All of the sudden, when the purpose of life seems to waver, we cry out for God to explain it to us and give us some kind of specific knowledge to make sense of life once again.

But life is messier than that. Some people experience a sense of what might be called “wondering and wandering” for days, weeks, months, or even years.  Circumstances seem to dictate the path of life rather than informed decisions and a secure knowledge of what should be done next.

In Colossians, the Apostle Paul strikes a clear and pure note of truth for us to mold our response to in these frustrating times of life.  In fact, if we would focus on this principle in the midst of the good and the difficult we would certainly be on the right path and gain a secure foothold in responding appropriately to our circumstances.

Notice that Paul prays for the Colossians to “be filled with the knowledge of His will.”  He’s not praying for specific knowledge about circumstances or jobs or what school to attend or who to marry.  He’s praying to know the mind of God.  He’s praying to see the vision that God is seeing.  He’s praying for sensitivity to the Spirit of God that the Colossians may gain “all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

Paul’s encouragement to the Colossians, and to us, is that we focus our prayers to know God better and what He is thinking.  He wants us to tap into the knowledge and wisdom and understanding of God’s own purposes.  He wants us to lay aside the worries of our lives and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  It must start there, with the mind and thoughts of God, and then flow out into the practical aspects of our daily Christian walk (which is exactly where Paul goes in the verses following this one!).

Even as leaders, we come carrying the burdens of life.  It may be a job loss, difficulty with a friend or family member, struggles with finances, or any number of situations.  Yet, here we are to lead; to lead in worship nonetheless.  And as we come to lead, we must already have built into our own lives the habit of looking beyond our circumstances and into the heart of God.  After all, we can only lead people into a place that we’ve already been.

Our Father, we come as needy people.  We have our own ideas and plans but choose to set those aside to seek your thoughts and plans.  Father, we want to know your heart and your will.  Reveal that to us as we seek to honor you every day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Posted on May 26, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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