Smile! You’re on Candid Camera……Candid Camera TV Show circa 1948
Candid Camera was a TV show that premiered in 1948 and saw a few rebirths throughout the years with the latest being in 2014. The show would go out in public and take ordinary people and put them in embarrassing, awkward, and uncomfortable, albeit, funny situations while they were being secretly recorded. When the joke came to a head, one of the actors would point to the hidden camera and hit them with the “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera” tag line.
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:1-5.
I was recently doing a devotional on prayer. The author used the word PRAY as an acronym with the letter P standing for praise. He used the 100th Psalm as an illustration of how we should enter into God’s presence in prayer with thanksgiving and praise. I thought that was a really good idea…..until the next day. Before I could even put this idea into action, I was hit with the news that my wife was having a serious health issue, one that my mother had been dealing with for months. Well, let me tell you, I wasn’t ready to sing, praise, or give thanks when I started to pray that day. I couldn’t even muster a joyful noise! After I finished mumbling through a heart aching prayer I said, “God, how are we supposed to feel joyful and give praise when we are hurting and afraid?” The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart with an awesome answer. God doesn’t expect us to be happy and cheerful when the world is caving in and to pray in the same manner as when life is rosy. However, we can still have a thankful mindset. We serve an all-powerful, all-knowing God. A God that never lets anything happen in our lives that doesn’t pass through his hands and promises not to burden us with more than we can bear. A God that walks ahead and prepares our futures before we get there, and a Holy Spirit living in us that will pray for us even when we can’t or don’t know how to pray in a situation. Verse 5 above says “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
That is how we give praise and sing even in a storm. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he is with us and comforts us, and thankfully, God has already been to the other side of the valley before us. That is why this reminds me of this old TV show. Even though they were stressed out, when the joke was revealed, the people would smile and relax because they knew someone had it planned out and was in control. So smile, relax, and sing praises, because God has it planned out and He is in control.
Remember, He will never leave nor abandon us!
Have a great week!