Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3)

SINCE PRAYER CHANGES THINGS, the apostle Paul’s life proves praise changes things just as much. Paul’s experiences—imprisonment, beatings, and shipwrecks, to name a few—reveal that he often could not praise the Lord for his circumstances, but he sure could lift up the name of who is in control of all things. His praise made him an open vessel to receive God’s comfort so he could then give it away to others. Paul constantly praised God for what he accomplished then and there.

Pastor Martin Rinkart followed Paul’s example as he faithfully served the people in Eilenburg, Saxony, during the horrendous Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648). Because of the war, plagues, and pestilence, the pastor conducted up to forty funerals per day, totaling over four thousand during his time of service. Even though Pastor Martin lived in a world dominated by death he wrote a “table grace” for his little ones. His enduring words are used today as a hymn of thanksgiving: “Now thank we all our God / With heart and hands and voices / Who wondrous things hath done / In whom His world rejoices! / Who, from our mother’s arms / Hath led us on our way / With countless gifts of love / And still is ours today.”

God promises that the sufferings of Christ will flow over into our lives, but at the same time, Jesus pours His comfort into ours.

Say a table grace and thank the God of all comfort.

Susan Browning Schulz is a wife and active mom of three grown children. She lives riverside in northwest Georgia and loves leading her small group.