Sing unto the Lord a new song, then sings my soul, My Savior God to thee, how great thou art, Ps. 89 - I will sing of the Lord’s great love. Eph. 5:19 - sing and make music in your heart. The Lord is most worthy of praise. His praise will always be on my lips. How has everything been going for you lately? For some, things are as usual, but for others, times have been discouraging, depressing and painful. Maybe you have experienced loss or are suffering in some way. Maybe you are in the desert. Sometimes we have to travel these paths when we don’t want to. God wants us to have an abundant life, but that does not mean without pain suffering, discouragement or trials or desert times. John 16:33 -- in this world you will have tribulation, but take courage I have overcome the world. Are you cast down in your soul or are you praising God for being with you in the midst of the trial? We don’t always get the privilege to understand why we have to travel the path that we do sometimes and we are not immune from trouble, but Isa. 61:3 tells us that a spirit of despair can be replaced with a garment of praise. In your times of trouble are you literally “ putting on a garment of praise?”
Acts 16:23-26--Paul and Silas were beaten and arrested unjustly for casting a spirit of divination out of the young servant girl. Not only suffering from the severe beating they had received, their arms and legs were bound in a position where they could not move them. Have you ever been in a situation where you could not stretch out your arms and legs and you felt like your circulation was cut off and you began to have some muscle cramps? They were probably in a very damp place. The stench of that place must have been more than we could imagine, blood, death and decay and human waste -- no comfort what so ever. As they started to calm down and rest the best they could, probably feeling the throbbing of their wounds and thinking about the events of the day, they began to settle in for the night. The scripture gives the time of about midnight. Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Their prayers and songs became instruments against the enemy. There was an earthquake and the foundation of the prison was shaken, and the prison doors were opened. Paul and Silas knew how to lift their heads above their troubles and enter into God’s presence and experience His power. Through praise and worship their hearts were raised into the joyous presence and peace of God and provided God a channel for His power to operate in their circumstances. God dwells in an atmosphere of praise. Praise is not merely a reaction from coming into His presence-- praise is the vehicle of faith which brings us into the power and the presence of God. It is the gate which allows us to enter into the sacredness of His glory. Ps.100:4 --Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise -- be thankful and bless His Name. Praise manifests God’s very presence. An atmosphere that is filled with praise and worship is very disgusting to the enemy, Satan. He wants us to fret, worry, look for the easy way out, cry, and to take our eyes off God. He wants us to speak with our lips our despair, complaints and so on. He thrives and rejoices when we do this, because our focus is not on God. Your circumstances may not change, but the way you perceive them and get through them will change. In your situation, whatever it may be, praise and thank God for never leaving you or forsaking you, and helping you to stand up and get through whatever it may be. When in that dungeon and you are wounded and not knowing what to do, trust in God and sing - worship and most of all Praise His Holy Name. It may not change the situation, but it will give you new eyes to see it, strength to endure it and an attitude of gratitude for God’s presence with you, and even His deliverance.
Great God with Us - How real you were to Paul and Silas. Day after day they saw Your power and love displayed all around them. Nothing could diminish their delight in you or their faith in your ability to save them or to be with them. Help us to see our tests and trials as opportunities to grow deeper in You and teach us like Paul and Silas to sing for joy in the darkness as we await our deliverance. Let our reaction to everything in life, not be one of despair or discouragement, but as a bump in the road, and the ability to get over it with singing and praising and worshipping you for who You are, Your steadfastness, power, great love for us, and your willingness to walk along side of us. Give us grateful hearts. Thank you Most Glorious Father.
As you go about on this journey called life, make it a habit to sing and praise God in all things. Have a praise filled week. Janice- Encourager Coach FBC NWA