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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 28:6-7’

“I can’t remember the last time I felt truly happy.”

“Nobody understands what this situation is like.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve experienced one or more of the emotions behind those statements,  including:  discouragement, self-pity, hopelessness, and fear.

When circumstances seem out of control and problems defy solution, what can we do?

A good place to start:  praise God.

I know.  That seems an odd course of action and counter-intuitive.  But that’s what God instructs us to do (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Now why would that be?

Reason #1:  Praise is a powerful weapon against those emotions listed above. It fosters peace and contentment by taking our minds off our problems and focusing our attention on God.

David shows us the way in Psalm 103.  In verse two he says,  “Forget not all [God’s] benefits.”  Then he lists  a number of them:  forgiveness of all sins, healing of all diseases*,  redemption from the pit, God’s love, compassion, righteousness, and justice (vs. 3-6).

What would your personal list include?  What specific ways has he provided for you, guided and protected you, fulfilled promises to you, and empowered you?

“Praise is the honey of life

which a devout heart extracts

from every bloom of providence and grace.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon

Reasons #2:  Praise invites his presence, and with his presence comes his strength and help.

“Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.  the Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:6-7).

I have to be honest here.  There have been times when my praise to God had to be squeezed through gritted teeth.  And the first words of affirmation did not immediately lift me into golden clouds of euphoria.

What I can tell you is this:  Depression, discouragement, self-pity, and hopelessness were kept at bay.  And I felt the presence of God around me, giving me strength to press on.

How has praise brought God’s strength and help into your life?

Reason #3:  Praise lifts our spirits and gives us hope.  When words won’t come, we can turn to the psalms.  Chapter 145 offers one example of eloquent praise:

“God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.  There are no boundaries to his greatness. ..

“God is all mercy and grace–not quick to anger, is rich in love.  God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace…

“Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  Everything God does is right–the trademark on all his works is love…

“My mouth is filled with God’s praise” (vs. 3, 8-9, 16-17, 21,  The Message)!

Can you feel the hope, comfort, and strength stirring in the depths of your soul?

Keep praising!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Oh, yes, Lord, may my mouth be filled with your praise, whether I’m celebrating on a mountaintop or plodding through a valley.  Thank you for the delight of the former and your comfort and care through the latter.  I praise you that all things are under your control.  With a grateful heart,  I put my hope and trust in you. 

* All of our diseases are healed:  1) instantly and miraculously, often as the result of prayer, 2) slowly over time, often with extended prayer and medical intervention, or 3) eternally, when we reach heaven.

(photo credits:  www.health.com; http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com.)

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