I wrote this blog originally about 5 years ago, but these truths are timeless and worth revisiting. So here we go:
I’ve been feeling down a lot lately—not constantly, but too frequently for my tastes. One of the reasons has been chronic back pain. Being in pain has always been difficult for me. Can anyone relate? Plus yesterday I went to a funeral which always stirs up missing Ed, my dear husband now 4 years gone. On top of that we’ve had gloomy wet weather. Certainly I’m not the only one experiencing the blues today.
It’s ok to be sad once and awhile, but the Lord doesn’t want us to stay depressed all the time. Through the years my wonderful Lord has shown me how to encourage myself in Him.
There are many things He has taught me, but one way that always works in getting me out of the doldrums is:
To praise and worship Him!
This morning the Lord led me to reread my gratitude journal penned in 2010—my first year as a widow. Within its pages was a love letter to God. I have discovered that whenever I reread this letter, I am always lifted up. So it was no surprise that once again my faithful God came through!
The reason this works is because of truths in these verses:
“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me…. He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:14-15, 23, emphasis added)
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Heb 13:15-16)
Praising and thanking God during difficult times is a sacrifice. It’s a laying down of our feelings on the altar as a way to express our love and worship to Him. It is His just due. After all, didn’t He sacrifice everything in order that we may be reconciled back into a right relationship with Him?!
Interestingly, by praising and thanking God during hardship, a way is made for God to reveal His deliverance out of the doldrums! (See Ps 50:23) Praising God pleases Him. And when God is pleased He likes to tell us—at least that has been my experience.
So this morning, I was overwhelmed with the sense of His presence and pleasure in my choice to thank Him despite my physical pain and melancholy.
And in His presence there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11).
But you know what? Even if God didn’t lift my spirits, I would still try to praise Him—no matter how I may feel at any given moment. It is what He deserves. How could I not thank Him for redeeming my pitiful soul from hell?!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies [which includes feelings] as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1)
So until next time, my friends, choose to praise God whenever you are down and watch your spirits rise.
The way up is found by lifting His name up.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.