Psalm 103:2 (NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
There is a plaque on a wall at Staunton Harold Chapel in Leicestershire, England that reads: "In the year 1653, when all things sacred throughout the land were either demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley built this church. His singular praise is this: To have done the best of things in the worst of times."
In 17th century England it was the worst of times. King Charles I had been tried for treason and been beheaded. Injustice was reigning throughout the England. The churches were harassed and many were closed.
Sir Robert was a traveler and adventurer. As he traveled to Persia and throughout Europe, he understood that the world was a dark place. But on the edge of a beautiful lake, Sir Robert decided to build a church to bring praise and glory to God. The building is remarkable for being one of the few churches built in, and surviving from, the Commonwealth Period. It is decorated with brass candlesticks and beautiful, purple velvet cushions.
What is more remarkable is that this beautiful building was built as Sir Robert while he languished in prison in the Tower of London. It was during his own “worst of times” that Robert desired to bring praise and glory to God. He died in prison three years after the beginning of the church, never seeing its completion.
Are you remembering to praise Christ even during your “worst of times?”
Dear Lord, no matter what circumstance we find our self in help us praise You. Help us not get wrapped up in the bad but always look to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.