We’ve been hard hit by drought in South Dakota this season, but Psalm 146 tells us to “Praise the Lord!” It’s hard to praise the Lord in a tough season, and maybe “Praise the Lord!” is not the first thing that comes to mind. I am reminded of Habakkuk’s prayer in 3:17-19, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will praise the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” I think Habakkuk knew something about farming and agriculture in South Dakota during drought. Habakkuk turned to trust and praise in times of deep suffering, and that is a good model for us. We praise the Lord in times of plenty and abundance, and times of desert and wilderness, in both the sunshine and the darkness, the wet and the very dry.
If you are righteous by faith, trusting in God, knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you are born again and have new life in Him, then praising God in drought (or any suffering) is possible. It involves reorienting your thinking, being transformed by the renewing of your mind, and being conformed to His image. Christ gave God praise in His hardest times, throughout His life of difficult ministry; we can do the same.
Thomas Kempis said, “[a believer] should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, the day, and after the storm, a great calm.” During this drought and In all times of suffering, we can turn to God in praise. We can also turn to our local church for help, as brothers and sisters come alongside and carry our burdens with us. We turn to Christ and His Spirit in us, who works through us to praise and give Him glory. “Hallelujah! I will praise the Lord!”