WORSHIPPING WHEN THINGS ARE BAD

Andy Hollifield 4-25-18
Matthew 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
Matthew 15:22, 25 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is greviously vexed with a devil. (25) Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
The word “worshipped him” appear in the bible 23 times with 21 of them being in the New Testament. The word “worshipped” appears 70 times and “worship” 108 times. “Worshipping” is in the scripture 5 times. All of that is not what I want to talk about. The scriptures above are all people who worshipped the Lord before he did anything for them.
In Matthew 8:2, this leper came and worshipped him. Lepers, by law, were not supposed to approach anyone but stand off at a distance and cry out “unclean.” This one however believed so strongly that the Lord could heal him that he defied the law and approached Jesus directly and worshipped him. “Worship” means to bestow reverent honor and homage to God or a sacred person or any object regarded as sacred. This man clearly humbled himself before Jesus and worshipped him and Jesus touched him and healed him but told him to go and show himself to the priest and offer the gift that was called for under the law. According to verse 3, the leprosy was cleansed immediately. The worship came before the healing.
In Matthew 9:18 this ruler came to Jesus about his daughter who was already dead. Stop and think about that for a minute. This man had just lost his daughter but yet he made the journey to Jesus quite possibly leaving his grieving wife by herself, and worshipped him before he even told Jesus what he wanted. If you want to know how hard that must have been, look and compare it to Mary and Martha in John chapter 11 after Lazarus had died. When Jesus arrived and they went out to meet him, you don’t find either of them worshipping him although they had in the past and were close friends with Jesus. On the contrary, they instead blamed Jesus because he had not gotten there in time to keep Lazarus from dying. They had walked with him and no doubt seen the miracles and even had him in their home as a guest. But this ruler probably didn’t run with the religious crowd yet he came unto Jesus, while also being heart-broken, and worshipped him. Jesus went with him to his home and after saying that the girl was only asleep, he was laughed at and scorned. Nevertheless, he went in and took the girl’s hand and told her to arise and she did. It pays to worship don’t it?
In chapter 15 of Matthew, we find the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus because her daughter was possessed. She continued to follow Jesus and worship and plead with him on behalf of her daughter. In my opinion, Jesus kept putting her off to demonstrate her faith. When Jesus commended her for her great faith, the scripture says in verse 28 that “her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Can you imagine how frustrated this woman this woman must have gotten every time she would say something to Jesus and he countered with something else? But yet, she just kept on following him and talking to him because she knew what he could do. It would be hard to keep worshipping when Jesus didn’t answer her. Worse yet, when he did answer his disciples when they tried to get him to get rid of her, he told them in so many words that she didn’t qualify for help because she was a Canaanite. Yet, the next thing that happens is that she comes and worships him. Even though he still didn’t give her a favorable answer, she still didn’t give up. When she acknowledged the truth and admitted that she wasn’t worthy, then was when he commended her great faith and told her “be it unto thee as thou wilt.” I believe not just in that hour, but I believe in that moment her daughter was made whole. Isn’t that a picture of salvation. We were just sinners who weren’t worthy of his help and should have been left hopeless, but when we came and acknowledged him as Lord by faith and submitted ourselves to him, then he did the work in our heart that needed doing and kicked the devil out.
In Mark 5:6 this is the story that we know as the demonic of Gadara. Although he was possessed with many devils, when he saw Jesus coming afar off, he ran and worshipped him. To make a long story short, he commanded the devils to come out of the man and they did and went into a herd of about two thousand pigs and they ran down a steep cliff into the water and drowned themselves. When the herdsmen ran to the city to tell about the pigs and about the man, the people of the city went out to see it for themselves. What they found was this man who had been wild and uncontrollable and had cut himself with stones, sitting at Jesus’ feet clothed and in his right mind.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, all of these people worshipped Jesus before he did anything for them. They worshipped him before they even knew if he would do anything for them. Our worship has got to be totally from our heart and without strings attached. I think Job said it best in Job 13:15 when he said “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job was willing to still trust in the Lord even if he killed him. He also believed in him so much that he was going to live for him regardless. How difficult would that be? Put yourself in any of these people’s position. We often have a hard time worshipping when things are just going a little tough for us. What will we do when lives are on the line and there is sickness involved and we don’t see things getting better but instead just keep getting worse? Will we worship then? Will we resolve to trust God no matter what, even if things don’t go to suit us? Anyone can worship when everything is turning up roses but when we only seem to get the thorns, will we keep our trust in him and be found “worshipping when things are bad?” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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