About four years ago a friend of mine asked me what she could do to have a breakthrough in her life. She felt all dried up spiritually and her faith was getting weak. She wasn’t excited about the things of the Lord and she had lost her “God appetite.” She was just going through the motions with no hope of things getting better. I prayed for her. I prayed about her situation and I received a message that resonated with both of us. The message was that she needed to turn up the volume of her praise. She needed to go into praise mode more and to let it carry her to a higher place spiritually. I took that message personally as well and I put it into action. What unfolded in the days that followed was a new dimension in my relationship with the Lord. Turning up the volume of my praise allowed me to get closer to Him. It allowed me to embrace Him and to get connected with Him in a way that felt very special and very unique. I was very familiar with praise but I got a fresh revelation of the power of praise at that time. A few months later, I was in need of a spiritual boost and the message that came to me during prayer was to amplify my gratitude. Now, combining those two messages created a powerful formula. Turning up the volume of my praise and of my gratitude equals tapping into the heart of the Lord. Praise takes you where the Lord is and gratitude shows you who He is. Today I want to encourage you to turn up the volume of your praise and your gratitude. Increase them. Turn that dial and let your praise and gratitude be louder than fear and bitterness.
When my friend started praising more despite what was going on in her life, she saw a difference in the way she approached her situation. Fear decreased, her mood was good and her outlook on life was more positive. She looked forward to the praise sessions and she really got into them. What was happening was that she was getting into God’s atmosphere of peace and joy. The Spirit of the Lord hangs out in our praises. He is there when we exalt Jesus and His power taps us on the back and opens our eyes to a world of many possibilities. She found peace and joy at her fingertips when her hands were up toward the heavens as a sign or praise and adoration. She felt great during praise. She forgot about her problems. The more she did it, the less she heard the nagging from her problems. She found herself having more hope and giving more hope to people around her. God’s hope is contagious and she caught the bug that keeps on giving. If you need some encouragement or you need a little pick-me up, turn up the volume of your praise. It won’t feel normal if you are going through a tough time but it will diminish the power the problems have over your mind. It will help you renew your mind and think more like Christ. Be loud in your praise sessions. Be loud with your actions of praise. It doesn’t have to be music or songs, you can praise the Lord with your actions and with your attitude surrendered to Him. My friend became a “Praise before you worry” kind of person and I believe she still blasts the praises every day.
Turning up the volume of gratitude can come in very handy when frustration and bitterness try to get the best of you. They seep in and lead you straight down the path of negativity and keep you in a mental negative cell that you can’t get out of easily. They make you develop feelings that keep you from seeing God’s beauty and that prevent you from believing in His promises. The enemy wants you to be bitter and frustrated but gratitude removes the bitter look from your face and the frustration from your heart. Gratitude is an expression of faith. It is telling the Lord that you appreciate what He is doing even when you don’t see anything happening. Gratitude is the kind of attitude that rubs the enemy the wrong way. It is a form of praise and the enemy can’t stand praise. When you turn up the volume of your gratitude, the enemy will tell you that you are crazy and he will say that it doesn’t make sense. Now, remember. God’s wisdom is foolishness to the world and the enemy is the king of this world. Don’t pay attention to what he tells you. Thank the Lord for everything. Find things to be grateful for. Keep at it. Don’t put your guard down but be vigilant in gratitude and praise. When you focus on being grateful, you are not ignoring the pain and the troubles. You are rising above them and you are putting yourself in a position where they won’t have any effect on you. I have been there many times. I praised even when it hurt. I was grateful even when I felt cheated by life. Those moments were difficult but they quickly turned into opportunities to build up some faith muscles and to discover a new joy in the middle of chaos. Dear friend, turn up the volume of your praise and gratitude and you will see what the Lord does for you. Praise Him!
Suggested reading: Isaiah 25:1; Psalm 150:6; Acts 16:25