What Does Worship and Tragedy Have in Common?

I’ve heard it said that a major part of worship is thanksgiving. But what if you can’t find anything to thank God for? What if the turmoil you face within you and the struggles of daily life have just strangled you? In fact, the tragedy that gripped your life is just too much to bear. You are not even sure if you are alive. Then…what is there to be thankful for? In worship we are supposed to express our thankfulness and love for God. But why should I worship?
Lots of questions but the answers are few. Isn’t that how life is? So in this situation worship seems to be the most impossible and illogical task. During such times I would much rather wallow in my sorrows. At least it feels good to express my grief. Even if no one is listening, at least I can get it off my chest.
But when you share it with others – its fine the first few times, but not constantly. Yet my struggles seem to be never ending. How can I continue approaching people repeatedly? After a while they’ll get tired of it and begin to avoid me.

There was a man whose first response to tragedy was worship. He lost all his children and his entire wealth in one day. When the reality of this tragedy struck him, his first response was worship. With his life experience he knew there was no hope anywhere else. So why bother? The only logical and fruitful response for him was worship. “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20 ESV). Many years ago, Philip Yancey impacted my thinking greatly through his book Where is God When it Hurts? It’s a challenging book that changed my thinking and my responses to life as well. But the struggle continues as I train myself to shift my focus from my problems to God.

How have you responded to tragedy?

Leave your comments here.


  1. Josh Baker

    Worship is the practicing of thanksgiving, knowing that he deserves it, even when we cannot identify why. When we cannot identify why, our perspective needs changing. Every breath we take is undeserved. Every ray of sunshine, every cloud, every piece of bread, is undeserved common grace that he has given to this world that he loved. When we cannot give thanks, we have lost perspective of who we are and who He is. Facing the loss of my house and job, I found myself stuck in the repetitive cycle of doubt and questioning the fairness of why God would let this happen. What I came to find is that I had infinitely more to be thankful for and remembered the nature of God’s grace and mercy in giving me plenty of things that I did not deserve, and withholding the depravity of what I truly deserve.

    The bravery and amazing faith of those that have suffered worse than I can imagine, in thanking God in the shadow of tragedy.

    “From the thankful heart to the battle-scarred
    From the comforted to those who grieve
    From the mountaintop to the empty cup
    From the waiting to those who have received

    From the reborn hope to the weary soul
    From the quest for truth to those who see
    From the soaring wings to the shattered dream
    From the broken to those who have been healed
    We cry out as one

    We still believe
    We still believe
    We still surrender in our hearts
    Your faithfulness is our reward

    We still believe
    We still believe
    And though the journey has been hard
    We will confess your goodness, God
    We still believe”

  2. worship is worth-ship or work-ship; It is worthwhile when it is done in proper way, it is not a tragedy. It can be meaningful only when the worshiper sees the glory of God.

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