Will You Pout or Praise?

Gwen Smith Blog, Faith, Trials, Trusting God 58 Comments


Trials can lead us to a greater dependency on God and a deeper trust in His sovereignty if we let them. I’m reminded that in every situation I come to a crossroad and have a choice: I can pout or I can praise. I can turn away from God because I don’t understand or I can turn toward God in full assurance that His understanding is enough for the both of us – even if it hurts – even if anger lingers – even if doubt looms.

Have you been to these crossroads?

God shows us a powerful example of praise-over-pout behavior in chapter sixteen of the book of Acts. During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he and his ministry buddy Silas encountered a collision of faith and trouble while in Philippi.

After Paul cast out a demon that was terrorizing a young slave girl, he and Silas were seized by disgruntled Roman citizens and dragged to the marketplace before the rulers. They were then wrongfully accused of public disruption. And later stripped, beaten, and unlawfully jailed without a trial. After the flogging, Paul and Silas were taken to the inner cell of the prison, normally reserved for the most dangerous offenders, and their feet were placed in stocks.

Though they had every reason to sit and stew because of the injustice of their situation, Paul and Silas chose to trust in God’s plan and praise their Lord, Jesus Christ.

Though they had open wounds and would likely have been in severe physical pain, Paul and Silas chose to glorify the name of God.

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16: 23-25).

Then God shook the earth and the prison foundations and loosed the chains of the prisoners. In horror, knowing he would be held responsible for the escape of the prisoners, the jailer raised his sword to kill himself – but Paul stopped him. He and Silas hadn’t fled. They stood amidst their dark circumstances and spoke and sang with confidence in their God.

As a result, several people, including the jailer and his family, came to believe in Jesus Christ.

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all of his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household
(Acts 16:29-34).

Though we won’t always rejoice in our circumstances, we are instructed to always rejoice in the Lord.


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4, 6-7).

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1: 2-3).

When we praise the Lord through, and in spite of, what we face our praise becomes our deliverance through the trial.

We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us… (Rom. 5:3-5a, NCV).

This world is broken and hardship is unavoidable. But, no matter what difficult times we encounter, God is worthy of our praise.

When we choose to praise instead of pout, we choose to trust God.

When we choose to trust God, the wounded world around us lifts their eyebrows in wonder – just like the Roman jailer.

Yes. Sometimes a sacrifice of praise is required.

Offer it.


Dear Lord,
Thank You for being trustworthy and praiseworthy! I ask that You will nudge me to trust You each time I approach crossroads of faith and trouble.
In spite of the burdens on my heart and challenges in my path right now,
I praise Your name and celebrate that Your hope will never disappoint.

In Jesus’ name, amen.



Praise that perseveres begins with a determined heart, mind and soul. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Are you standing at the faith/trouble crossroads today?

How would choosing to trust God and praise Him help you deal with your circumstances?


Have I mentioned how much I love doing life with you? I DO!! So much. I’m grateful for the beautiful community of believers that gathers on my wall and social media to discuss these pressing life and faith matters. You are a treasure to me. Please leave a comment about where this pout & praise topic finds you and let me know how my team and I can PRAY for you today.

Warmly in Christ,



Comments 58

  1. Trying to discipline myself to write out scriptures on post it
    notes and place to them in different places where I can
    see them and be reminded to pray and prioritize my days.

  2. So needed this!! God has allowed some hard moments in my life. My divorce, my daughter’s divorce. Shaking my head at God for whys??? It has been years since my divorce and some time since my daughter’s, but quite honestly disappointed in God in that He did not protect my daughter from such a hurt! So, once again, a choice to pout or praise. Easier to pout. Feeds my flesh and after all, I do have cause to pout. But your reminder today, and the example of Paul and Silas, have once again shown that God is building something into our lives!!

  3. I just read this…and boy am I there…at a cross roads….
    My truck broke down…you see 2 years ago I was blessed with this vehicle. …it was a gift
    I prayed for 3 years and God delivered.
    I then lost my income and wondered how I would now care for my new to me truck….my children all got jobs in matter of days and well they not only stepped up to help me in household needs but with paying truck insurance and well whatever.
    I am no longer able to work due to some growing disabilities. ..this another praise Him in the storm story…waiting on SSDI to start….anyway…as I was saying my truck broke down and while I was/am upset …in the midst of it all I remembered that God is still God and He knew this was going to happen….
    So after a bit of “omgness” I started praying and told my children….who have all fallen away from the Lord….I am just gonna pray it through…..
    Then I read this pout or praise….while I am scratching key head I am also praying and trusting because I have been praying for God to do whatever it takes to grab my children’s attention and turn them back to Him…but spare their lives.
    Well broke down truck= upset children not being able to fight over who drives and who gets dropped off …and well exactly whose truck is it= my saying this morning Lord I am trusting You in this…with this…
    You see while my first thought was to get all sad and depressed and cry it out…I decided to pray it out and trust the Lord to work it out….to work it out that my children (all adults whom I provided transportation for) could see and acknowledge that what happens next is all God …
    So while my old self would have ranted and raged….cried and carried on….the new me…prayed and praised
    Praise because when my truck broke all my children were safe and while I was home sick and my daughter was driving she and my son were safely in a parking lot and not on the road.
    So….again thank you for this I needed it …it helped me realize I had…I am trusting the Lord and praising Him and not pouting.
    Annette Hunter

  4. Thank you for the reading on praise or pout, it came at the right time. Made a note in my bible with the scriptures. From 30/9 I am without a job due to the economy. I rent, I need to be strong and trust God. I need a fairh increase in the Provider!
    God richest blessings Gwen!

  5. I am going through many trials. My GI Doc just said out of ALL the people he sees, myself and one other person are the only ones he has ever seen with this much radiation damage. I have lots of doctors and lots of radiation damage BUT I am CANCER-FREE going on 7 years. The docs that were in charge of my treatment…radiation and chemotherapy….didn’t think I would live after my bone marrow shut down. I told my doc then, “Don’t worry Doc. I got God on my side and He is bringing me through this because it is not my time yet.” And I totally knew and believed that. Talk about peace that surpasses understanding! Yes, there is more to my story…much more, but I want to point out that the REASON I am so SPECIAL as far as this radiation damage is concerned is because I LIVED & I continue to CHOOSE LIFE! Statistics have me dead 2 to 2 1/2years after therapy. BUT GOD has other plans. I am truly struggling now physically, financially and my whole life is just crazy. I need a home but am so thankful my beautiful middle daughter is letting me stay in her house. It is hard on her and she is a cancer survivor also. (Another story). Also, I am praying for a car for several reasons….taking the burden off my family for one, getting to go see other daughters and grandchildren, getting to go to church and having a chance to try to work part time cleaning houses. I think I can do it. I thank the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ for continuing to bring me through….for never leaving or forsaking Me. Boy have I needed Him through it all and WOW Do I ever need Him now.

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  6. Thank you for this reminder today. I needed it! In the aftermath of a hurricane my family is being hit hard financially. With recent doubts in my call to ministry in my church, I have not been in a place of faith/trust. Thank you for sharing and helping me remember what I know is in my heart, but was not in the mind or my actions. Please pray for me and my family. Thank you and may God continue to bless you and give you peace.

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  7. I needed to be reminded of this today. Please pray for my family. We are bombarded daily with problems but God always comes through for us. He has blessed us so much. My granddaughter needs a day job that pays good. Her mother is in prison, drug related, she needs deliverance. All my children need to be saved. Thank you for your uplifting articles. Keep up the good work. God bless you!

    A good friend of mine, her dad could die any minute now. Please pray for comfort for the family.

  8. Thank you Gwen. Often your devotionals cause me to think about my walk with conviction, likewise uplift me when I’m down or encourage me when I’m on the right path. God Bless.

  9. Can I first say how much I appreciate your devotionals. This one definitely speaks to me. I am definitely in the faith side. God has shown me in the past 10 months how much he is with me and my family in the midst of troubles. I have chosen to pray and praise through worship when my heart has been broken and he has given me hope. I trust that all will be well. In January we learned that my then 5 year old granddaughter had been molested numerous times by her step-father over a period of about 8 months. I thank God often that she spoke up. Now I don’t know what will happen in terms of justice according to the law and I don’t really worry about that. Through this tragedy God has been faithful. It has brought my daughter back to church and although questioning, she is with me there, including doing an Alpha course. I know and trust that God is in control in this situation. Not every day is easy. But I’m learning how I react is a choice. I choose Joy. I choose faith. The words of this song often play in my head “I will praise you in the storm”. If my story can encourage anyone, then I share it. thank you so much, Gwen, for words often so timely. He speaks to me through them often. Bless you!

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  10. I feel like this message is always timely. Whether it was when my oldest son was diagnosed with severe ADHD and medicated at 8 years old or when he was a teenager and was completely rebellious and ended up dealing drugs and in jail, or when my youngest son was born with Down Syndrome, or when ai went through a divorce, or when my current husband rages at me for something seemingly so insignificant…. Because he has a personality disorder…. Or whether my addiction to anti anxiety meds is reading it’s ugly head… I have always had the choice how I would respond rather than react. I have to believe in my heart of hearts that no matter what storm I am weathering that God loves me and the circumstances surrounding me are not going to last forever. But His love is! Praise God for His faithfulness even in the dark and ugly. I didn’t always make the best choice in the hard times and I still don’t always do it now. But I am progressing and praying and growing closer to Him every day. Thank you Gwen for sharing yourself and your heart with us. It is truly a blessing and a joy to do life with you as well. Xoxo

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  11. Dear Lord I pray to always praise you and thank you in and through the trials of life. I trust you Lord that you may take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    thank you for this scripture to meditate on: We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us… (Rom. 5:3-5a, NCV)

    Experiencing abiding in the Lord by scripture and song and receiving a dose of the joy of the Lord … thank you for these devotionals that help get me focused on who God is and all His benefits.

  12. I have been standing & believing for restoration of my 24 year marriage since
    May when my husband moved out. He says he just doesn’t know what he wants to do. He is dealing with a lot of spiritual issues. I have been holding on to Psalm 65:5, “You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God my Savior.
    You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.”
    I feel like that’s where he is right now; being tossed back & forth on the waves in this storm. Please pray for him. ❤️️

    1. Hi Karen. I know you don’t know me, but I just wanted to let you know I’ll be praying for you and your husband. I was reading through some of the comments and your message touched my heart. I’ve never been married. My Mum has dementia and this makes life so difficult at times and I often feel so desperately lonely. I’ve been praying that God will bless me with a kind and godly husband to share life with. Be encouraged, our God is an awesome God, and He will work all things together for our good. I’m trying to learn how to truly delight in the Lord. All His promises are true – Psalm 37:3-4. God bless. Ruth

  13. Thank you for your timely words of encouragement. This year has been very trying. In March I had my gallbladder out and 9 days later my appendix. In May I found out that my knee replacement of 2 years was infected. I had it removed and a temporary knee put in, was on iv antibiotics for 6 weeks. 2 weeks later the Dr retested fluid from my knee and it was infection free. I then had a full knee replacement on July 20th. Then on Oct 2nd my knee became swollen, red and hot. On Mon I had an emergency Dr appt and was admitted to the hospital for iv antibiotics. By Wed I was not better. Fluid was taken from my knee and it showed infection. Once again I’m off to surgery to clean out an infection. I praise God that this infection is different. It had not gotten into the joint. It was only an infection of the tissue in front of the knee. I’m back in a brace and I have 2 weeks of iv antibiotics. I’m not sure what God has ahead for me, but I stay in His word and I know that God will reveal it in His time. Today I choose to praise and glorify my Father in heaven. Thanks Gwen

  14. Wow! Thanx for PRAISE or POUT!!! I had back surgery 3 wks ago today actually and have been given a list of things I cannot do? But this is so timely. Rather than pout about what I cannot do I want to PRAISE the Lord for what I can do? And my sister and I were actually the story of Paul and Silas years ago for a VBS story. We were chained and beaten. This has also brought great memories of that as well. Thank you for sharing. Blessings of Praise. Debbie?

  15. Gwen. Your words are timely. We are struggling with a mentally disabled adult son who is also bipolar. After 12 years of stability he has hit a crisis twice in the last 4 weeks. It is so very heartbreaking for us as parents as we see him fall each time. He is helpless to control the demons that take over. We can only heap meds and prayers upon him. We have dealt with this for 35 years. We are weak mentally and physically but strong in the Lord. And yes I still praise Him. Our son’s name is Josh should you choose to pray for him. Many thanks. Jeanne.

  16. Good post today! I’m in the crossroads right now!! I set my heart to praise but I grieve the Holy Spirit then doubt sinks in. It breaks my heart when i know the Good Lord will provide. Please pray for my strength in the Lord. I want a Praise party and not a pity party! Thank you and God Bless you!

  17. Thank you Gwen for writing these words – each time it does help and brings my mind back to what is very important to remember always. God Bless you and your family.

    **Trying not to pout during these times in my life**


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  18. Your devotional are so timely. I have experienced much loss over the past six years. Some of it by my own hand and some not. The hardest ones were of the heart. Last year I ended a 5 year relationship that was very destructive. My heart has been close to Christ and He has carried me through some of the hardest trials of my life. The idea of a romantic relationship was not something I was willing to entertain. The very thought of it filled me with a giant “NO”!!! Several months ago I was introduced to a man by a Godly friend. The intent was to just be friends as we have similar struggles and have not found support easily in those areas. About a month ago it became clear that we were both interested in being more that just friends. Sister!!! Can I tell you the fear that this is bringing up in me. I thought I was over living with fear. Fear of loss. Fear of opening my heart only to be hurt. It was easier to be alone (and put all my focus on God, my children, work, and my home). Clearly God is showing me were my faith is lacking. Where I still struggle with feeling unworthy and allow panic to set in. The praise is that, although in the past, these scary feeling would lead me to destructive behaviors, I now have Christ Jesus to turn to. To calm my mind, my hears, my souls. I do not know what plans He has for me but I know that he wants what is best for me. He has my back. I don’t know where He is taking me, but I am going, with the faith that His plans are more than I could every possibly imagine. With or without a man. With our without experiencing hurt and loss. He is ALWAYS there for me and He is ENOUGH!!!

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  19. Good morning. this devotion was like God…On Time! i was doing a little pouting this morning. Today is my second day back to work after being off for 6 weeks due to surgery. Although, I am grateful to have a job to go back to and I love what I do, I felt like I needed more time to heal and I was pouting and anger was lingering. And although I know God is with me and my body is healing…going back wasn’t what I wanted.

    Thank you for reminding me to give praise, NO MATTER the circumstances. For the reminder that God is working things out and I can rest assured that He will restore me fully and going back to work is part of the healing.

    Thanks Gwen for allowing God to use you.

  20. Gwen, I am thoroughly and completely inspired by your messages and your testimony in your messages. You share personal stories and how your faith and the challenges in your life have shaped and impacted your love and faith in our Lord Jesus. Please continue to share your messages as I know my faith is growing as I read and study God’s word with you. Thank you Gwen, Sharon, and Mary for your daily posts. God Bless all of you.

  21. I love your writings, Gwen! You are clearly in tune with the Lord and hearing him speak. Thank you for sharing your insights! The Lord has been teaching me this lesson for a LONG time.. and I feel I am finally starting to get it! ( Yes, I am hard-headed 🙁 ) When we proclaim our trust in HIM, and rejoice in HIM in the midst of our circumstances, even though our situation may not change, our perspective changes, and He gives us peace that he will never leave or forsake us and HE is using our trials to produce greater things in our lives. He wants us to be more intimate with him and to look more like Jesus in the end. Help us, Lord to always choose to be joyful,as we KNOW you love us!!

  22. About a year ago I came very close to re-uniting with my ex-husband, Joe. He had accepted Christ as his savior years ago. While with him I became overwhelmed in how mean and nasty he would get. I once asked him why he did not sleep in his bed, his response was he slept in another room where he could be surrounded by his possessions. There were a few times when I could see the love of the Lord seem to surface but mostly he was narcissic and everything had to revolve around him. He got very angry when I read my bible.
    One night he began screaming for the dogs to stop biting him and piercing his feet. The next day I was stunned when I read Psalm 22:16 of the NIV; “Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircle me; they pierce my hands and my feet.”
    I ended up leaving the house and he seemed to take great pleasure in the fact I had nothing. It is almost a year now and my financial burdens have become so great. I contemplated suicide because I had no way out. Now I find myself being led to pray and fast for Joe. I have to admitt that there has always been a love for him in my heart and throughout the years I have prayed for him. He currently lives in a mobile home which he rarely leaves. It is so dark, almost like his own mausoleum. I am being obedient and have committed to prayer and fasting today. Sometimes when your own burdens are so heavy yo question, why, when you need help yourself so badly. Please pray for me and with me, especially for discernment. When you are desperate it seems things can become very misleading. I am 68 years old and my name is Jenny. Thank you

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      Heavenly Father, I agree with Jenny in prayer today for you to move powerfully in these circumstances. Please give her wisdom and discernment to obey as You lead. Bring healing, conviction, restoration, and hope to both Jenny and Joe. Help Jenny to stay firm to healthy boundaries according to what is Your best for her. We pray against the plan of Satan – which is to rob, kill, destroy and demolish all light, truth and joy. Bind our enemy in Jesus’ name so that Your plans and Your best will prevail, Lord! Please surround Jenny with healthy and Biblically strong friends and speak through Your Word as she seeks Your heart. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

  23. This spoke straight to my soul this morning. I have never posted for prayer before but felt “nudged” to do so today. I have been struggling with a health issue that has kept me bedridden at points over the last 6 months. But all began 25 years ago as something called adrenal fatigue brought on my a gene variation called mthfr. All of my B vitamins are deficient which has me battling severe exhaustion/fatigue on some days. The anxiety that comes with it has been bad as well. God has brought me through so much of it as I look back at my journals the last six months. I am standing and believing God for complete healing. Thank you for the ministry you share with us. Your encouragement each day during this health struggle has been a big part of my healing.

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  24. Your post really hit home this morning. I tend to pout and instead of praising. Please pray for me. I will pray for you also. Thank you.

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  25. Thank you for posting such inspiring words. I look forward to your emails every morning. I often forget to praise God for all he does.

    Thank you.

  26. Ms. Smith thank you for such a powerful and encouraging word on pout or praise..sometimes things in life get so difficult and you don’t uderstand the way God takes you..but I choose to praise..please pray for my Husband and I..we were seperated for a couple of years and have reconciled but still don’t live in the same household due to the commute for his job and he only comes home on weekends..Right now we need a great financial miracle from the Lord..And please pray for me that I would be consistent this is a area I seem to struggle for me in my decision making, with my children just all across the board…thank you and God Bless You Always..?

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  27. Thank you! I needed this reminder this morning, I am feeling that all the time I spend with the Lord is not changing me at all! So I am pouting! I already sought the Lord’s forgiveness, by not trusting or believing in him

  28. Thank God for you Gwen,
    You are such a positive blessing. Ive done both pouted then praised as I know I have to learn in the trials that come my way, especially pain. But I know will teach me a lesson. God bless you and your family ♡♡♡♡

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  29. Good morning great devotion this morning sister. I really need prays for my anger. I have great things going on … the Lord has my husband and I in the middle of some great things. Like ministering to my parents who aren’t saved YET. We just got the opportunity to move them up from NC to PA. And what a privilege to take part in Gods plan right. And I have allowed anger in and it immediately turns to rage. Not good I know … Please pray for me thank you

  30. I am currently facing big changes and transitions in my life. My secure job has been taken. I am placing my full trust in God. I am waiting and listening for Him to direct my steps. While it is so scary it is also very exciting to say for the first time in my life “God, I am yours. Use me. I am willing to do whatever it is that you are asking me to do”.

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  31. Thank you for your words of encouragement..With God’s help and prayers I am opening up to forgiveness and love after years of trying to have a positive relationship with my husband . By standing back with patience I wait for the will of God to put in my path all that he wants me to have and to be. Love and Grace
    is enough for me as I surrender.

  32. Thank you as always, you just wake me up every morning. I too have been a great pouter, and actually until reading this, I realized that sometimes I have praise on the outside, but pout on the inside. I needed this (and every) wakeup call, I am determined to move out of my way and to follow (baby steps) God. That’s why he sent me to you and GIG in the first place, praise his name, unceasingly.

  33. Thank you for this lesson. It is easier to pout & be discouraged, but I choose to praise. I just lost my job after just a few months of starting it. My future son-in-law lost his as well. He is not a believer. I would like you to pray that He comes to accept the Lord. Also pray that a job opens up for him soon. Thank you so much.

  34. Your message is always coming at the right time & when it is mostly needed. My husband is been oppressed at his place of work & he needs all the encouragement in the world to keep moving on, I was broken but with this message I feel better because I know my redeemer liveth, he never lives his own. Thank you

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  35. For many years I have had a sinus problem. My nose will drip and when it trickles down my throat I get and awful cough. It is so embarrassing when I’m out in public. I have doctored with it for years. Today, I will start praising God for this condition instead of feeling sorry for myself.

  36. Thank you, Gwen, for this post on pouting or praising. It is so much easier to pout and have a pity-party at times the. It is to Praise. The photo of you jumping in the middle of the road amongst an incredible force of a background shows your heart. Just seeing that photo put a smile on my face and a tickle to my heart. Two qualities in your photo lead me to praise Him for His Majesty and safety.

    THANK YOU for your transperancy in life through your real posts. It helps to know despite our failures and fears….. we are not alone!

    Thank you!

  37. Thank you for reminding me of this today. I do tend to forget to PRAISE instead of pout. May God continue to bless and use you for HIS GLORY and our good.


  38. This is all me today,?I thank God for you and you staff I’m going through a hard time.I love God with everything in me but if I’d my self pouting wondering why me.I have to be out the place that I’m living by October 1st with no money to move I need him and it’s like he doesn’t hear me.Please pray for me I need a miracle.Thank you and God bless.Your article came right on time❤️️

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