Are there benefits that come with worship?
Have you ever walked into a church service and just not felt like joining in on the worship? Maybe you feel tired and not in the right mindset.
You look around at everyone else who seems to be enjoying the moment, worshiping the Lord and yet you just don’t “feel it”. I’ve been there.
I want to encourage you that there are tremendous benefits that come when we press through and begin to worship, even when we don’t feel like it.
As you make a choice to worship the Lord, there are benefits that come. Worship affects our mental and emotional well-being, even in ways we aren’t aware of. There’s a reason the enemy tries to stop our praise.
The Religious Brain Project, a research project launched by the University of Utah found that based on MRI scans, powerful spiritual feelings during worship were reproducibly associated with activation in the nucleus accumbens, a critical brain region for processing reward.
In addition to the brain’s reward circuits, the researchers found that spiritual feelings were associated with the medial prefrontal cortex, which is a complex brain region that is activated by tasks involving valuation, judgment and moral reasoning. Spiritual feelings during worship also activated brain regions associated with focused attention.
There are scientific reasons to worship the Lord!
Here are 7 immediate benefits that come when we choose to worship the Lord:
The first benefit that comes within minutes of worship is the peace of God. Anytime God is present, there is peace. He is the God of all peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Peace is defined by the Merriam Webster as “a state of tranquility or quiet,” while the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the state of being calm or quiet.” Merriam Webster goes on to describe peace as freedom from disturbance, a state of security, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, the end of hostility.
However, peace in the Bible includes even more than these definitions. Biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict or state of rest. It means completeness or wholeness, and it signifies the presence of something.
In the Bible, the word “peace” comes from the Hebrew word shalom and according to Strong’s concordance, it means completeness, soundness, and welfare. It comes from the root word shalam (shaw-lame’) which means to make amends or to make whole or complete.
To have shalom (peace) in the Bible means to be in a state of absolute wholeness or completeness, without any deficiency or lack. Complete wellness in every area. This is what Jesus has given to us. His very own peace!
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 NKJV
When you enter into worship, you will experience the peace of God, which is different from the peace of the world. It is more than just the absence of conflict; it is the restoring of a broken situation. It’s more than a state of inner tranquility; it’s a state of wholeness and completeness.
God is the only source of true peace, and one of His names is Yahweh Shalom (Judges 6:24), which means the LORD Is Peace. Jesus is the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6).
You cannot be in the presence of God without experiencing peace, because it is who He is.
As you begin to worship God and He inhabits your praise (Psalm 22:3), the joy of the Lord begins to influence your heart.
You can’t be around Jesus and not experience joy. He is always uplifting, always encouraging, and always full of joy.
Joy is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible. It is a fruit of the Spirit, just like peace. This joy that comes from the Lord is not dependent upon our external circumstances.
There is a joy from the world, which is hollow and fleeting (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2, Hebrews 11:25), but there is joy that comes only from God that is way better than anything the world has to offer. This is the type of joy you will tap into as you worship.
Reverence for the Lord is a fountain of life; its waters keep a man from death. Proverbs 14:26-27 TLB
Joy is crucial to the Christian life, because the Bible says that the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
The more you worship, the more joy you will experience. Because joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it is always present within you. Begin to activate this joy as you worship the God of joy!
3. Proper Perspective
God is bigger than your problems. You may know this intellectually, but as you focus on the Lord in worship, it reminds your heart of this truth. He really is bigger.
Not only does God have the solutions that you need, but He’s already provided the answer for every problem you could ever encounter.
God has been bigger than your problems since time existed. He’s been solving problems for longer than our minds can comprehend. He is eternal and holds the answers to every question.
Your problems become smaller with a proper perspective. As you worship the Lord, you begin to see things from His perspective and solutions come.
4. Relief from Torment
Scripture tells us that praise will silence the enemy (Psalm 8:2).
As you begin to worship, you will experience relief from anxiety and tormenting thoughts. I don’t know exactly how this works, but it is miraculous.
In the Old Testament, when Saul was afflicted with a distressing spirit, David would take a harp and play it and the distressing spirit would depart from him (1 Samuel 16:23). Worship is a powerful weapon against the enemy’s torment.
As you focus on the Lord, His love for you drives out all fear and torment.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NKJV
The feeling of being close to God is a feeling that all humans crave and need. This is how we were designed to live, in oneness with Him. Basically every pursuit that humans involve themselves in is ultimately a pursuit of knowing and being accepted by God. Most people don’t realize this is what they’re after, but it’s true. Ever since the fall of humanity, we have been seeking to make our way back to where we belong.
Knowing that you are loved and that you belong to God as His child is something that only comes through receiving Jesus. Through what Jesus has done, we have been accepted back into the family of God.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12 NKJV
When you worship, you become aware of your closeness to God. His existence becomes so apparent, and you feel accepted, loved, and cherished as His child.
Worship is really a form of meditation, a way of focusing the mind. This has tremendous benefits.
The study that I referenced earlier done by the University of Utah found that spiritual feelings during worship activated brain regions associated with focused attention.
This is similar to the benefits of focused meditation. If you have a mind that tends to run full speed all the time, taking time to worship can really help.
Being able to focus the mind is a critical skill. This is one of the reasons social media and the world of information we live in can be so harmful. Our minds are constantly distracted and moving rapidly from one subject to another.
Take time every day to focus your mind on the Lord as you worship. You will reap incredible benefits!
I can’t tell you how many times God has spoken to me during a time of worship. As we move our focus from the problem to the Solution, He is able to impart wisdom to us. Scriptures come alive and we know how to apply them to our life.
Wisdom is knowing the will of the Lord (Ephesians 5:17). When we know the will of the Lord in a given situation, we can pray according to that will and see it become reality.
When we take time to worship, our hearts are in a position to receive what God has to say. We can receive the wisdom He wants to get to us.