This message is an encouragement but it is also a challenge. It is an encouragement to challenge yourself and challenge your circumstances. “Praise the Lord” is at the core of my message. You often hear it as an expression of agreement or as a way of saying “Glory to God.” Today I am telling you “Praise the Lord” as the best advice there is. Praise Him during your worst times. It is easy to praise Him when everything is going well but today I want to focus on your trials and tribulations. I want to talk about praising the Lord even when life hurts. I want to emphasize that your praise to the Lord when you are going through a tough time is what is going to help you get through that tough time. It is a challenge because your mind, your body and your soul do not want to praise the Lord when the going gets tough. Even your spirit can be on board with the rest of your body and refuse to turn on the praise. A distraught spirit is hard to revive but a few words from the Lord can bring it back to life. Your spirit might be in a zone now where despair is prevalent and praise is a distant thought but stay encouraged. With the Lord there is always hope. There is hope to get out of your funk and to get out of your troubles. He won’t leave you by yourself. The Lord who inhabits His praises is going to take control of your tribulations and dissolve them. Praise Him today. Praise Him when the pain is bad. Praise Him when you are in the trenches. Praise Him in the valley.
Trials and tribulations often feel like a long and endless walk in the valley of death. If you are there now, don’t worry, God is still with you. I understand that walking through that valley can be a painful and lonely experience. What I also understand is that God is with you in the valley and He will show up if you show Him that you rely on Him. Start praising now in the valley. Lift up your hands and give Him a shout. Lift up your hands and say the most beautiful things you can think of about Him. Lift up His name. Ignore the burn in your heart. Ignore how your feelings are trying to sabotage your praise session. Don’t pay attention to your emotions. Rise above them. Give it all you can. Praise Him. Start with a song that stirs up your faith and that focuses on Jesus. Praise is about Him so your song should reflect how great you believe He is. Singing those words of praise will not feel natural right now if you are having a hard time but it will open the door to more. More peace and more joy. Remember that the Lord is in the praises of His people. Let Him in. Open that door wider and wider. It doesn’t matter if you are not feeling it. You are filling the atmosphere with the presence of the One that truly matters. Negative thoughts will try to stop your praise. Keep on going. Don’t give up. Take on the praise challenge. It will strengthen your faith and it will set you free.
Know that the Lord loves it when you praise Him. Know that He has an impact on your environment when you praise Him. Praise is more than a song. It is a reverence toward the King of kings. It is a love declaration. It is an expression of adoration. It is a call for change. A call for a change for the best. It is your way of saying that despite it all, Jesus is still King. Praise looks at the majesty of the Lord and the loss of the enemy. Praise conquers the enemy. Praise is a slap in the face of adversity. Sustained praise keeps the enemy at bay. Resist the devil and he will flee. Praise is resistance. Praise is refusing to succumb to your circumstances and to the opposition. Praising the Lord is like saying “I am not worried about what is going on in my life. Jesus is the center of my life and He makes things right.” Turn up the volume of your praise. Keep on praising the Lord. It will alter the way you look at your circumstances. It will give you God’s perspective. It will give you hope and hope is all you need to get through this. Praise the Lord even when it hurts. Praise the Lord when you don’t feel like it. Praise the Lord and you will be set free. Praise the Lord and your situation will improve. Praise the Lord and you will see that nothing is impossible with God. Praise Him!
Suggested reading: Exodus 15:2; Psalm 150:1-6; Hebrews 13:8