Some of the best discussion in the infertility Bible study comes in response to what seems like nonsensical advice: Praise God for what you can’t see happening. “Why should we, and how could we?” couples ask. On the surface, the advice sounds ridiculous. It seems absurdly Pollyanna to believe that seeing the bright side could somehow make it so.
But, it can.
Here’s what I mean.
Our praise releases the power of God into our lives. When we dwell on the negative, on our feelings of powerlessness and despair, we invite the power of darkness into our spirits. But, the opposite is also true. When we concentrate our attention on the goodness of God and our knowledge of His faithfulness, we invite the power of the Holy Spirit to activate the word of God in us. That changes everything.
“So, what do you thank God for when everything seems to be falling apart?” couples want to know. “How can we praise Him when nothing is going according to (our) plan? When the nurse calls with discouraging results… there are no eggs to harvest… the IVF fails… the birth mother changes her mind… our options are limited and the future looks bleak?”
Praise Him for sustaining you, and thank God for hope. The Bible makes clear that what we see is not all there is. In fact, it is in walking by faith and not by sight that we can “see” cause for hope.
Still at a loss? Then speak these words of the psalmist:
But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more… til I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Do those words feel relevant? You want hope. You’d love to declare God’s goodness to the next generation — your children, who came into your life despite all the struggles of infertility. Even if it is hard for you to imagine saying these words with conviction, offer them with sincerity. Pray them with a desire to see God demonstrate that your faith is justified.
“What if I can’t? How do I praise God when I feel angry, resentful and hurt?” You acknowledge the truth of your feelings, and then acknowledge a greater, timeless truth: God is faithful. How do you do that when you’re awash in powerful feelings? Voice them, too! Look again to the words of the psalmist:
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,… I will praise you for your faithfulness.
“Why praise God when I’m the one doing all the work and experiencing all this suffering?” Because you’re not doing it alone. You are surrounded by countless provisions every day, sent to you by the God who loves you and will sustain you.
Bottom line: If you can’t praise God for His sake, then do it for for your own:
1) Praise strengthens you – It focuses your mind on God, helping you be attentive to His presence, His voice and His will. That attentiveness strengthens your courage; you know you are not alone. It fortifies your hope; you know your steps are guided by the One who is with you. And, it reinforces your faith; as you exercise trust, you build your ability to believe in God’s promise-keeping faithfulness.
2) Praise also anticipates victory – It encourages optimism, regardless of the moment’s circumstances. It leans into believing what can only be seen through eyes of faith — which delights the heart of the Father. It makes everything different, even as it appears to remain the same, because it rests in the assurance of a powerful truth: “all things are possible.”
Learning to trust and affirm God’s promises, despite today’s circumstances, is the great test of faith. When we say, “Lord, despite what I see, I still believe all things are possible,” He stands ready to prove once again, “those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
For more inspiration and cause for hope, click this link to visit PregnantWithHope.com