I haven’t posted in a while because I have been going through some things. Some of which may be called a “valley” in my life. It wasn’t until I heard Joyce Meyer mentioned “singing in the valley” that God revealed to me what to write about. People go through things in life. They go through things – ups and downs – physical sicknesses (even though Jesus has already paid the price for them), financial troubles, and just any kind of thing you can think of that the enemy tries to throw at you. It’s through this time that we must learn to trust and praise God through the valley. I admit I have been neglecting my “singing” and that’s just the strategy the enemy is trying to use. He doesn’t want you to praise God in your troubles. He wants to steal your praise. He wants to steal your joy too and he wants to steal your praise if that succeeds. The more he succeeds the more he will try until he’s got you so wrapped around your own suffering and throwing yourself a pity party consumed with grief, that you can’t open your mouth to praise Him [Jesus].
1) Praise is a an act of faith – Praise is one of the many ways that you can express your faith. It’s easy to sit in church and listen to worship music, sing and dance, and praise. But when you haven’t been able to keep down anything you’ve eaten or even when you try to pray and fight you are crying so much that you can’t fight anymore or when you are so deep in debt that it would be better for you to go into slavery then to pay off your debt, that’s when it is hard to praise God. You try so many things to be a “good Christian”, but then you realize that your faith has been stolen so that’s when you must praise.
2) Praise is an attitude – It’s not just about “singing” – It’s a lifestyle choice. Imagine if you were around a person that had one bad thing after another happen to them and you never saw the smile leave their face. They smiled when good things were happening and they smiled when bad things were happening, and it wasn’t just their smiling, but it was their whole attitude that was kind, nice, caring, loving, and nurturing, but still human at the same time. You would think what kind of character does this person have that makes them never complain or murmur or enter into self-pity like that? I’m not saying that such a person exists , except for maybe David in the Bible or even Joel Osteen (I know some Christians don’t like him and some love him), but wouldn’t it be a great attitude to have where you are constantly praising God for all that has happened- to know that whatever you’re going through you’re going to get out of it.
3) Praise can deliver you – When Paul was praising in prison there was an earthquake and then all the prison gates opened and they were let out [ACTS 16:25] – Even in your darkest bondage if you lift your hearts to praise Him, then you can be set free. Whatever you’re going through God can deliver you out of the darkest bondage. He can create miracles through praise to get out of that bondage.
4) Praise when others around you are not praising – You’re fellow co-worker might be talking bad about the boss or about the work situation you can praise God that you have a job. When your sister is having a bad day and she snaps at you you can praise God that you have a family that loves you and that you are not an orphan. It’s so easy to praise when everyone around you is cheerful and happy all the time, but how often does that happen?
5) Praise while serving – Whether you’re washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cooking, or whatever it is that you do to serve you can lift your hearts with praise. I must admit that this is the hardest thing for me to do. God does not call you to serve grudgingly or as an obligation, but with a heart of praise. Often I find myself so agitated I tend to snap at someone or get really stressed out when doing these things, and it’s only afterward that I realize that I should do it with a heart of praise. So what I do is turn on the Christian radio station and fill my heart with peace and praise so that I can serve with a heart full of praise. This one is hard for my family members as well. I think praise while serving changes the whole attitude about serving and can create peace in the atmosphere.
6) Praise God during all the little things – Whether you’re trying to find a piece of food in the way back part of the fridge so that you have to go and take everything out and put everything back in to find it. Or you’re trying to put the carton of apple juice back in the fridge while there’s no more room left in the fridge. Or even if it’s making it through the light without getting into an accident. It doesn’t matter what little things that you do or that happen to you, you can praise God in spite of them or even through them because then you’ll end up being able to praise God through all the big things that happen in your life – like the bondages or things you need to be delivered from.
7) Praise changes your perspective – You may be looking at your situation from only your viewpoint and not seeing God’s viewpoint, and when you praise the whole situation gets turned around. Perspective in art and geography can mean two dimensional or three dimensional. When you put on 3D glasses to watch a movie you feel the realness of it. You don’t feel like it’s a flat screen and that you can’t really be a part of it. With 3D it makes the picture pop out for you and it can make it really exciting and personal. God is multidimensional so when you praise God even when you are going through a valley you can see that there is a mountain at the top and God can move that mountain and make your pathways straight so that you are not in a valley but then you are in a level playing field.
One of the songs about Praise I like is “God is good all the time.” :
God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/god_is_good_all_the_time.html ]
If you’re walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true
We were sinners – so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies – they will never end
Lord I may not understand
All the plans He left for me
My life is in your hands
And through the eyes of Him I can clearly see
More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/#share
I may not be perfect and I may struggle as we all do, but I know that I have a God who is worthy of praise so through this valley if I go and praise Him then He can move this mountain in my life.