I still remember the day that I received my summer Bible study book in the mail for the National Bible Bee. The word Worship was written across the cover in a beautiful teal color- my favorite.
I opened the book in awe. The verses that I would be studying and memorizing for the next eight weeks flooded the pages. Hebrew words were lined up and down with blank lines waiting to be filled. I was beyond excited.
After all, I didn’t know much about worship. Participating in an intensive Bible study with Christians over the United States was new to me.
I opened the book, scanned the first page, then leaned back against my bed. I don’t know any of this! I said to myself. My knowledge of the Word of God is more limited than I thought.
I began to realize that the more of the Bible we read, the more it surpasses our understanding- and that’s a good thing. If we were all-knowing, we wouldn’t ever have a hunger stirred up in us to learn more. So you see, God’s Word and the truths of worshipping our Creator are endless. The impact worship has on our own lives is indescribable. The effect of exalting our Savior in the storm is radical!
Up until I did the 2019 Worship study, I was unaware of the fact that worship was truly transformational. I thought I had already been impacted fully by praise and worship, and that it was just an additive of Christianity.
But I was wrong. Worship is the basis of our being. We were created to worship our Creator.
2019 was one of the hardest years of my life. We were living in a rental home, had recently moved churches, and I lost a few friends. On top of all of that, the home in which our family was building ended up not turning out, resulting in the loss of a two-year project and dream.
I would stand barefoot in the backyard and look into the sun with tears streaming down my face. What now? I would ask myself. Will this battle end?
Trust me, and worship. Don’t give up. I would hear God say.
Sometimes we aren’t able to fully demonstrate worship unless we are put through the fire to see how we stand. Throughout this hard process, my family and I had repeatedly been told that we were like Job from the Bible.
Job had so many trials throughout his life, and he lost everything! But what we forget in Job’s story is that he refused to curse God in his hardships. He worshipped God in pain, even when his friends told him to just give up already.
In the study book of mine, I read of David, and how he chose a life of worship, even after breaking God’s law.
I was inspired to live a life of devotion as the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair.
I was reminded of Paul and how he stayed true to the Word of God even when he was imprisoned.
I started to realize that there were more than half a dozen stories of God’s creation worshipping Him in the Bible. Worship was not an ornament to their faith, it was a lifestyle. The Bible is filled with accounts of imperfect humans living to glorify a perfect Creator. How beautiful is that?
After immersing myself in the Word, I started examining my own heart and motives, and questioning my spiritual life. I attended church and worshipped on Sundays. I danced in my backyard while listening to worship music. I loved hearing others play instruments.
But worship is so much more than that, and I was just beginning to realize it.
I pushed play on my worship music, faced the sun, lifted my hands to heaven and danced. God taught me how to worship in the storm.
Even though things don’t always turn out the way we expect them to, and though the devil never ceases to discourage us, God is greater. The enemy constantly seeks to destroy us for a reason- because he knows that Christ in us is powerful. We have a weapon in our faith. Sometimes we won’t truly learn worship until we face an opportunity where Christ is all we have, and that’s a good thing.
I’m reminded of Philippians 4:12 which says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
He knew how to be in need, but didn’t ask for an easy life. However, he continued to praise God in hardships, and look at how God used him in miraculous ways! Cling to Jesus and you will have your sword sharpened in the fire of adversity. That is when we are purified. Would we ever learn true worship without suffering? Would we ever learn the depth of God’s love and the truths of His character?
Living a life of praise ignites a heart of joy inside of us. If worship is void when the rain pours, we’re focusing more on ourselves than the eternal goodness of our King.
But when you choose to smile in the sun and in the rain because God is good no matter what, that is true worship. When you refuse to curse God even when the enemy attacks violently, you are living a life pleasing and acceptable unto our Lord. When you shine in the dark and trust your God, the world will be changed and wonder what is different about you. We serve a God who deserves to be worshipped, and the outcome is lifechanging. Now that is something to smile about!
Hannah Kohner is a seventeen-year-old Jesus-loving writer, world-changer, and homeschooler. Her passion is to see this generation of teens boldly stand up and live for Jesus, even if they are the only ones standing. She desires to encourage those in their walk with Christ, and help them shine their light, living to their full potential. When Hannah is not writing, she can be found enjoying the great outdoors, immersing herself in God’s Word, choreographing worship dances, and spending time with friends and family. You can read her weekly posts on her blog, Generation Lights.