Sometimes the Lord works in themes, meaning a message often needs to be repeated in order for it to “stick”. I recently read the book, The Struggle is Real, and you can read my review here. It is a wonderful book and was quite timely, but then, the Lord is always right on time. No?
The book reminds us the struggles in life are real and furthermore, they are good. This is true based on the character of God, for God is good and all He does is good and for our good (see Psalm 119:68).
‘Doxology’ is defined as “a hymn or form of words containing an ascription of praise to God” (dictionary.com). Paul closes the book of Romans with these words:
“Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.” (Romans 16: 25-27, NLT)
Praising God in the midst of the struggle can be one of the hardest things we can do and yet, it is the very thing we must do.
“What is true of Romans in particular is not less true of the Christian life in general – during hard times, a doxology can sometimes seem out of place.”
(from Devotions on the Greek New Testament, Volume 2, page 67)
Praise may seem out of place in the midst of difficulty or unpleasant circumstances, but it is the very manner in which we maintain our focus on God and His character. He is faithful, good, loving, merciful, forgiving, and full of grace at all times.
Paul knew the importance of praise as he faced opposition. He reminds us there is nothing which can ever separate us from Christ’s love:
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (Romans 8:35, NLT)
Through all situations, Christ is with us and brings us through – “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (verse 37).
The devotional then continues:
“Whatever comes our way, may we never be found wanting for an appropriate doxology.”
A doxology reminds us that no matter our circumstances –
God is God,
He is great,
He is faithful,
and He is good.
All the time.