How many of you know that when you set out to do something, you WILL be challenged. Either by your friends, spouse, family, the enemy or even God. This is a test to see if you were for real.
I know your wondering what in the world am I getting at. Well, if you will notice the name of my blog. It's "Praises 2 Sing" or praises to sing. I did the #2 cause it was kool. Anyway, when I set out to do this blog, I wanted a title that fit me. At that time I had been going through some tough times and God was in the process of pulling us out of the pit. (Like Joseph when he was thrown into the pit by his brothers.) I vowed then, that I would forever praise my heavenly Father. That no matter what come my way, I would praise him. If he never did anything for me again, I would praise Him; especially because of what he had already done for me. Saving my soul from hell for one, restoring my marriage and giving me 3 completely healthy children, just to name a few.
I have found that it is easy to praise God when things are going good. When the sun is shining, you have money in the bank, your marriage is real peachy, the kids are doing well in school and are not sick, no one has died. Things are real quiet in your life. Well, what happens when there is no money to buy Christmas presents? No money to travel to visit family for the holidays? You have lost your job or your pay has been cut? What do you do when all your kids are sick at the same time? Or maybe your best friend has abandoned you? I have been so down in the pit financially that I couldn't find two quarters to rub together to buy toothpaste. (We used baking soda.)
We have been in the pit in many areas of our lives. What I mean by "the pit" is - the dumps, in really bad, things not going well on the inside of you or the outside.
When you make a vow to God that you will praise Him no matter what it looks like on the outside, you will find something to praise him for. You praise him for the stained shirt you have on your back. You praise him for the roof over your head. You praise him for the 13th mess that you have cleaned up today, because there are people out there that don't have children and want them so badly. You praise Him because you can breathe, you praise Him for the food that you have on the table. You praise Him for saving your soul. AND when you begin to praise him, your spirits will lift. Just like in Psalms if you begin to praise your heavenly Father, you will take off the spirit of heaviness and put on a garment of praise. When you praise your heavenly Father, things begin to fall into place. Your mind lines up with scripture. In Phil. 4:8 it says "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
In Acts, Paul and Silas began to sing praises to God while they were in prison and the chains of heaviness (shackles)was shaken from their hands and feet, the walls were torn down and they and all the other prisoners were set free. Praise frees us from our current circumstances.
I said all this to say, that I have been challenged in the past few weeks to really praise God for what I do not see. I have been praising him for the things to come, things that he has shown me and promised me. It is so easy to take our eyes off of our blessings. The enemy makes things so appealing to us. But we can not for one minute give him an inch. You know what he will do with that.
So I challenge you, now that Thanksgiving is over. Are you still praising God? If not, take the time now to do so. Ask him to give you the words to praise him with. He will do that. He has done it for me. Don't wait on "the feeling". You can not depend on them. Praise Him no matter what you feel like.
Love to all,