Isaiah 12:1-3 (NIV)
12 In that day you will say: �I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. 2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.�3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
The anger of God is much different than man in that God�s anger is righteous, slow to take place and shows displeasure over sin. The people here are praising God; for in their repentance God has once again comforted them from the sin that ensnared them. God is salvation and from His salvation we can trust God and not be afraid; for God lifts us up when we are weak and defends us when we are in need. It is in His salvation provided through Jesus Christ that we can find joy, rest and peace.
Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, reflected on his visit to a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti nearly a year after the devastating earthquake. The church's building consisted of a tent made from white tarps and duct tape, pitched in the midst of a sprawling camp for thousands of people still homeless from the earthquake. This is how he describes the church and the lesson he learned in Haiti:
In the front row sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God. The worship was full of hope � [and] with thanksgiving to the Lord.
No one was singing louder or praying more fervently than Demosi Louphine, a 32-year-old unemployed single mother of two. During the earthquake, a collapsed building crushed her right arm and left leg. After four days both limbs had to be amputated.
She was leading the choir, leading prayers, standing on her prosthesis and lifting her one hand high in praise to God .� Following the service, I met Demosi's two daughters, ages eight and ten. The three of them now live in a tent five feet tall and perhaps eight feet wide. Despite losing her job, her home, and two limbs, she is deeply grateful because God spared her life on January 12th last year � "He brought me back like Lazarus, giving me the gift of life," says Demosi � [who] believes she survived the devastating quake for two reasons: to raise her girls and to serve her Lord for a few more years.
It makes no sense to me as an "entitled American" who grouses at the smallest inconveniences�a clogged drain or a slow wi-fi connection in my home. Yet here in this place, many people who had lost everything � expressed nothing but praise.
I find my own sense of charity for people like Demosi inadequate. They have so much more to offer me than I to them. I feel pity and sadness for them, but it is they who might better pity me for the shallowness of my own walk with Christ. [Richard Stearns, "Suffering and Rejoicing in a Haitian Tent Camp," Christianitytoday.com (1-12-11)]
We all need to praise the Lord for what He does in our lives. For no matter what material goods we may have God can bring joy and peace into our lives. Demosi Louphine lost things she owned and her arm and leg and still found joy in the Lord. In the Bible, Paul and Silas sat in a prison yet they were able to pray and sing hymns to God. May we too find that joy and peace in our lives and give praise to God.