I have had some dark periods in my life in which I suffered with depression. And there was a time that brought me to the verge of giving up my ministry. I spent much time before God in prayer, but I could not find an answer. It sounds quite terrible to admit, but the more I prayed, the more depressed I felt.
And then, God led me to this little scripture – just two short verses – just enough for my heart to remember during deepest, blackest need.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid (Psalms 56:3-4a).
Praise is a very powerful tool in bringing about spiritual victories. When we meditate on the Goodness – on God, praise will release God’s power into any dark and difficult situation and turn defeat into victory. Don’t believe me? The bible is full of instances that support the powerful work of praise.
* Paul and Silas after being beaten, clamped securely in stocks and thrown into a dark dungeon, sang hymns of praise and at midnight the prison doors flew open and the chains fell off every prisoner (Acts 16: 25).
* Ready for invasion, a vast army without number stood at the border of King Jehoshaphat’s kingdom. In great fear and with much trembling, he prayed for deliverance. That deliverance did not come through military might, but through praise, because the Lord told him, “The battle is not yours, but God’s… You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20: 15, 17).
Maybe you are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death or the Valley of Baca – tears, (Psalms 23:4; 84:6). Are you facing a wall of great difficulty, a dungeon of pain, or a conquering army of fears? Don’t give up! Without praise, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the darkness.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
The battle truly belongs to the Lord. So, praise Him! God only asks that we trust Him and then watch Him work. We don’t have to understand it. Focus on God and praise Him. God delights in the praise of His people.
Thank you Father and our Lord Christ. Today is a day of new beginnings. Today is my day of deliverance and trust. As I praise you, I know you will move me into the radiant light of Your glory. Again, I thank you and praise you for Your victory in whatever way it comes. Amen
Concepts borrowed from Born to Praise: Every Day Light For Your Journey by Selwyn Hughes