“I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1
Life promises us not only mountain tops but also valleys low. I’ve been through a couple of low valleys myself and have learned a huge lesson that changed my perspective for any hard time that I’ve been through or will walk through. That secret is praise and thankfulness. Walking through times that feel hopeless and like there is no way I’ll see the other side have defined what praise really means in my life. Praise births breakthrough, therefore we praise before our breakthrough.
Looking Beyond Yourself
There is so much power in praise. It brings freedom in your life, your heart, and the way you see God. You take the focus off you and set your sights on Him. It is easy to only see what is right in front of you when you are walking through a hard time. When something is painful, it’s hard to think about anything other than the pain you’re experiencing at that moment. If I stub my toe on the coffee table, all I can think about is how much my toe hurts. Praise is looking outside of yourself and what you’re going through and proclaiming that God is good, even when you’re walking through something that doesn’t feel good; that He is faithful when everything around you feels shaken and turbulent; that He is the Healer even when it’s hard to see past the sickness or pain you feel.
Thanking God Before You See It
I went through a time in my life where I would have constant jaw pain that would bring terrible headaches. During that time I learned what it looked like to thank God for the healing He gave me even when I didn’t feel healed. I remember one specific time when I was driving in my car and my jaw was in so much pain. I just sat there and thanked God over and over. “Thank you, Abba, for healing my jaw.” I took my focus off the pain I was in and put it on the goodness of God. That was a life-changing moment where I saw the power of thankfulness firsthand. I’ve brought that lesson into so many other areas of my life. It was an important lesson in learning to not only ask the Lord for the things that I want to see in my life but to also thank Him for them before they even happen. We thank Him for healing because we know He is our healer. We thank Him for good things to come because we know He is a good Father.
Praise Is Your Weapon
I no longer suffer from jaw pain (thank you, Jesus!), but the most important thing was that I learned what praise and thankfulness looks like. I am grateful for all the times I walked through hard things in life because through them I learned how God is good and always faithful. We have the weapons of praise and thankfulness that we can hold onto through any trial. They anchors us in who God really is. When we’re anchored in who God is we can’t be shaken. I will cling to these two things for the rest of my life, because I know the power thankfulness wields and the freedom praise brings.
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