The Remedy Is Praise

August 24, 2013

Friends,
When sad, when afraid, when frustrated, when bewildered, when exhausted, or at any other time, the remedy is to praise the Lord. Yes, it is certainly hard to do when negative emotions and circumstances have attacked, but we do have the ability to say, “Help, Lord.” And when we say it once, we can say it twice. If we repeat those two words, even if as a feeble whisper, then, if we belong to Him (or even if we don’t but are ready to repent), the Lord will listen and respond. He will reach down into the dark and miry pit and pull us out. Maybe He will do so through a ray of sunlight filtering through a puffy cloud, maybe by some funny action of a pet, maybe through a phone call, or maybe by reminding us of a comforting promise from His Word.

When God puts His arms under us to pull us out, we must respond willingly. We must immediately snap our thoughts onto Him and refuse to think again about the heartache at hand. To look back at the pit’s ooze, to listen again to the devil’s lies, is to shove ourselves away from the hands of our gentle Shepherd. He doesn’t force us to think on Him. He doesn’t force us to remain in His rescue.

How do we stay in our Savior’s grip, then, until we are carried to high ground? We hang on. And we hang on by faith. What is the ultimate display of faith? It is to praise. To praise God even when we don’t feel like it and when we can’t see anything good. This is why it is very helpful to have at least a few praise verses memorized from God’s Word. Like, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; His love endures forever.” (Jer. 33:11) If we have the opportunity, it would also be good to worshipfully kneel before God with our faces to the ground as the Israelites did while saying that. (2 Chron. 7:3) If Psalm 136 repeats “His love endures forever” in all 26 verses, then we should understand that such a phrase would be a good one for us to repeat as well. And it is not too hard to remember some of those phrases that accompany it –such as, “Give thanks to the God of gods” (v. 2), and “Give thanks to the Lord of lords” (v. 3), and “Give thanks to the God of Heaven.” (v. 26) Adding, “Give thanks to the King of kings” would certainly be easy enough to remember too.

By training our thoughts to focus on God as He lifts us up and carries us, we, by His power right there available to us, can begin to thank God for His attributes and wonders. Such as saying this: “I will give thanks to You, God, because You listen, because You are merciful, compassionate, and kind. You come to the aid of those who faithfully obey You and who take refuge in You. I exalt You and extol Your name. May all the peoples of the earth ascribe to You honor and power and dominions and authority and wealth and beauty and wisdom and holiness. You are worthy of all praise, Lord!”

Saying such things, even in a weak state, not only builds faith within us but it creates a wall of protection around us from the evil ones. No demon wants to hang around and listen to genuine, faith-inducing praise. They crumble at the sound, and they flee.

The miry pits are hidden all about us throughout life. But if we are wise, following right at the heels of Christ, holding His hand, and doing everything He commands, then we need not slip into any. However, if we do, due to fatigue, carelessness, or even a test from God, we do not need to spiral down. Learning to immediately praise God will keep our hand in His and our life in His –in Him who never falters.

But, if we do find ourselves at the bottom of the pit, barely able to whisper a prayer, we should start with those two words, “Help, Lord.” Then, whether we need help to repent or to praise, we will soon notice that God is answering. And if we keep on exhibiting our faith, the darkness will evaporate, the Light will refill us with joy, and we will be standing strong and high once again, fully clad in the armor of God and ready to take the next hill.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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