It’s a compliment when people feel comfortable enough to reheat their coffee in your microwave. It’s humbling when they are shocked to see it’s currently only operable as a breadbox. For over a year our built-in microwave/oven combo had housed our English muffins and bread because it couldn’t be replaced....yet.
Praise God, a 12 month contract came in for my husband! That was just a day or so after the other half of this massive and expensive appliance stopped working. You need a stove, so we rejoiced at God’s timing. We were relieved and victorious. “All of our appliances work!” we proclaimed with joy.
Then, a day or so later, we realized the food was not cold in our refrigerator. Meat, dairy and condiments had spoiled and drawn our attention to that fact. Our discouragement resurfaced, with strength. The age of our home and the size of our large family were largely responsible for this series of failing appliances. From experience, we suspected the fridge problem may be serious. We prayed it would not be. We were more than just bummed. We had to decide; despair or praise, discouragement or trust.
At the moment when “woe is me” thoughts start flying through our minds, we need to stop and make a decision.
When we stand at such a crossroad, we have a choice. Do we take the path that leads to hopelessness and despair, or do we take the other path which places us safely in the shadow of The Almighty? Psalm 91:1-2 says,
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
It is at the moments when it is hardest to trust God that He is most glorified when we do!
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”
It is at the moments when it is hardest to trust God that He is most glorified when we do! He responds when we praise Him when things seem hard. Psalm 28:7 says,
“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him."
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Paul and Silas were hard pressed, but they still testified to the other prisoners by praising God!
What happens next illustrates the power of praise as warfare. Verse 26 continues, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” They prayed and sang hymns, and God supernaturally freed them! Their songs did what they physically were restrained from doing.
Beginning to worship when we are highly discouraged isn’t easy, but we soon see that it works!
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Worship redirects our thoughts to God. Our trust in God magnifies Him and causes Him to rain His blessings upon us.
When we focus on our circumstances, we have chosen the path of defeat. Our minds our limited and we aren’t equipped to figure everything out. We can’t imagine the amazing things that God can and will do on our behalf. We are far less creative than He is. This is why we are told in I Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give God thanks and glory, regardless of our circumstances, we are firmly planting our feet within God’s will. This is the best place to be. He builds a hedge of protection against further harm for us.
If you are in a situation where it isn’t possible to put on praise music and truly focus on God, in His glory, it’s important to praise Him in your thoughts. These mental attacks of the enemy can come when we are vulnerable and rushed. Focus on God for a moment and pray, “God I trust you! I praise you! I know you have this! You are worthy, you are great, you are able….,” or the like.
If you are at home, or in the car, put on praise music and sing! This is what David, Paul and Silas all did. Sing with all of your heart. As you worship, your thoughts will realign with God’s, and you hope and joy will rise.
The Holy Spirit will surround you and penetrate your being. You will have victory over fear and despair. If the battle is prolonged, don’t give up. Worship keeps us moving forward and keeps us from being overwhelmed. God’s presence brings joy.
David, Paul and Silas all refused to be ruled by fear and dismay, regardless of their situations.
A life of praise leaves little room for emotional defeat. David, Paul and Silas all refused to be ruled by fear and dismay, regardless of their situations. They all lived lives in situation-proof victory. Broken appliances shouldn’t have the power to ruin our days;
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”