Today is hard. Money is tight, friendships are lean, you feel emotionally spent, or maybe spiritually dry. Someone just died, or is about to. That special person cut the relationship off. And in the middle of all that you're walking through, here's what God says:
"Worship the LORD with gladness; come into His presence with singing!" (Ps 100:2)
Doesn't He know how hard your life is right now? Doesn't He understand that you just can't authentically create the emotions of joyful worship when life is so challenging? Doesn't God get it?
Yes. He gets it. He gets how hard it is to worship in the middle of a bad day. Try singing Psalm 22 while you hang on a cross. The Son understands how hard it is to will yourself to worship, especially when it's hard. Yet, He did it. He worshipped when it hurt.
Here are three practices I've found from Jesus' life that show us how he willed himself to worship:
Jesus Had a Pre-Existing Practice of Worship
You're not going to sing and shout to God in pain if you've never done so at all. Jesus had a practice of worship and communion with the Father before He experienced pain. (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35)
Jesus Sang Scripture
Jesus sang the Psalms and so should we. I love great music, new and old. I'm not worship style warrior, hellbent on my preferences. But, Jesus knew how to go to the Psalms and sing God's word over His life. When Hell breaks loose in your life, you need the Psalms. (Matt 27:46)
Worship Shaped Jesus' World
Worship isn't a coping mechanism. We are worshipping, loving creatures, constantly orienting ourselves around that which we hold most valuable. Jesus' worship of the Father shaped his world. By worshipping regularly, we're reshaping the contours of our affections to wrap around the Worthy One. Doing so will change the way we see the world.
Today is still hard. This is when we must will ourselves to worship. God doesn't demand our praise because He's an insecure killjoy. He demands it because He loves us. He knows the only way to walk through the valley is with our eyes on the one whose rod and staff comfort us. Take the steps. Will yourself to worship today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And watch your world get reshaped.