This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15
One of my favorite comedy shows is King of Queens. Though it has been off the air for over eight years, I still watch the re-runs and I even have the DVD set of the entire series. To my knowledge, there is not a single episode that I haven’t seen. Yet, whenever I watch the show, I laugh as though it’s my first time seeing that particular episode. Sometimes I begin laughing before a scene because I already know what will happen. My laugh is anticipatory in nature. It happens because my mind recalls something hilarious that the characters will say or do. I react in advance because I know what’s coming based on my history of watching the show.
When it comes to our relationship with God, we also have a history. The Word tells us that He’s our provider (Philippians 4:19), healer (James 5:15), protector (Psalm 91:1-3), deliverer (John 8:36), and more! If you’ve had any type of encounter with Him at all, then you know these things to be true. Yet, when faced with new circumstances about which we are uncertain, there’s a tendency to be fearful instead of faithful.
While fear is a natural emotion, it should not overtake us. The Word says that He has given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). It’s hard to have a sound mind when we’re constantly worrying about our circumstances. Based on what we already know about God, we should be able to praise Him in advance. We may not know the specifics about how He will work things out or when, but because of our relationship with Him we do know that He will.
Anticipation is a realization in advance that something will take place. Do you really believe that God will come through for you? Or, has the enemy planted doubts in your mind that, perhaps, this is the one time God will fail you? Don’t buy into those lies. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Reflect on the things He’s already done for you. Now allow those things to propel you into anticipatory praise, knowing that, whatever your situation, you will be victorious when all is said and done because He has already worked things out for your good!
Think about the situations that have been holding up your praise. What’s stopping you from letting go and getting your praise on regardless of how things look now?