Dear Muslim and Christian friends,
Sometimes, it just feels like everything is going wrong, doesn’t it?
So. . .what do you do?
Allow yourself to get very anxious where your nerves are on edge and your stomach is upset?
Do you complain or whine about how bad your life is (to yourself or to others)?
Do you get angry with people or with God?
Fall into self-pity or even depression?
You could do those things or. . .you could do something that confuses (some) people but really pleases God: you could praise Him. You could thank Him. You could say, “Alhamdulillah!” (for you non-Muslims, this is Arabic for “thanks to God,” “praise God”)
I Thessalonians 5:18 in the Bible says,
There was once a prophet who heard from God that everything was about to fall apart in his country. Everything was going to go horribly wrong:
an evil invading army was going to bring violence, destruction, calamity.
But this was his response to what God told him (we can all learn from it):
“I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled. . .
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
How about you?
When everything is going wrong, what is your response? What do you do? What do you say?
If we say, “Alhamdulillah,” if we say “Praise the Lord” or “Thank the Lord,” God is supremely pleased. It tells him that we trust Him. It tells Him that we believe that He knows best and is in loving control of our lives.
“I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips” (written by Dawud – David – in the Zabur – the Psalms, chapter 34, verse 1).
Is everything going wrong? “Alhamdulillah!” Thank God!
Postscript: dear Muslim friends, while it is vitally important for us as Muslims and Christians to talk about the significant differences we have (such as how to get to Paradise – a huge issue!), it is also important for us to talk about what we have in common.
Thanking and praising God is something we can enthusiastically agree upon and use to build bridges between us for further discussion about who God is, why Jesus came to the earth and. . .how we can get to the place we all want to go – Paradise!
So. . .let’s talk!