I believe that there are several habits we as Christians can adopt in our lives to become the type of believer we truly aspire to be. While Hebrews 11 has compiled a list of heroes of the faith for us, there have been many who have lived since that we can learn from as well. If I were to ask you to think of a person, past or present, who exemplified a life of faith as a believer, you could probably think of a name quickly. Whether they were written about in the Bible, history, or have just touched your life in some way, they have habits in their life that you and I can adopt into our own lives to become that type of Christian.
The first habit I want to touch on this week is the habit of praise. Our praise shouldn’t be dependent on how we feel or what circumstance we find ourselves in. The Biblical example of this is Job. After having lost all of his children in a tragedy and his possessions in the same day, Job 1:20-21 said he fell down, worshipped and said, “Praise the name of the Lord!” (NLT) He didn’t let his external circumstances change his ability to praise.
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t face trouble at some point in their life. Not all of us have those Job moments where we lose everything at once, but we still suffer loss. We still suffer grief. In those moments, our habit is what raises to the surface. Difficult times often reveal what’s in our heart like it did for Job. One of my favorite examples of someone having the habit of praise in the midst of a storm is Horatio Spafford.
In 1871, he lost most of his wealth in the Great Chicago Fire. In 1873, there was an economic downturn which further hurt him. He decided to head to Europe with his wife and four daughters, but a zoning meeting in Chicago held him up. His wife and daughters left without him. The ship they were on collided with another and sank before help could arrive. His wife sent a telegram that said, “Saved alone.” His children did not survive.
As he was on his way to meet his wife in Europe, his ship passed near the wreck site. As it did, he wrote these words, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.'” The famous hymn of praise came out of a tragedy and deep grief because he had a habit of praise in his life. He knew that no matter what happened in life, God was in control and working things together for his good.
God wants you and I to develop the habit of praise in our life so that nothing can keep us from fulfilling our purpose. Psalm 64:10 says, “Good-hearted people, make praise your habit” (MSG). If we will start and end our day with praise, we will get in the habit of praising God. If we will choose to praise no matter what we face or what our day brings, we will develop the habit of praise to the point that if we are faced with something like Job or Horatio did, we will have the same response they did.