The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
I believe that one of the keys to living a victorious life as a Christian is learning the power of praise and thanksgiving. When we praise, we are getting our minds off our self and focusing on the Lord, the One who can actually help us. When we praise, we are exalting the Lord over our problem and inviting Him into our circumstance.
Last week, I was heading to church to share a portion of my testimony and I was sort of mindlessly driving. Then I kind of came to myself as I started to become aware of the thoughts I had been entertaining. It was the same old tapes that enemy has played to me over and over again in an attempt to paralyze me with fear. As anxiety started to overwhelm me, I knew that I had a choice to make. I could either sink into the pit that was enticing me or I could praise my way out.
I decided to praise my way out! I began declaring scripture over myself and thanking the Lord for all he had done for me. I was creating a new atmosphere by exalting the Lord and giving Him room to come inhabit my praises. After about 10 minutes, I could feel the posture of my heart change, tears pooled in my eyes, and I could feel the Lord’s presence resting in my vehicle. Romans 10:11 resonated in my mind, “those who put their trust in the Lord will never be put to shame”. I knew it was Him, the comforter had come. In just a matter of moments, my whole attitude was totally reset. My heart went from downtrodden to overflowing with gratitude.
I want to encourage you, friends, to choose praise! You will not always “feel” like praising but decide to do it anyway. Keep practicing thankfulness until your natural response is to praise the Lord. A simple way to start incorporating praise and thanksgiving into your life is to do a Top 5. When you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed at night, think of 5 things you can praise/thank God for. The Psalms are rich with examples and instruction on how to do this. Most of the time you can just speak out the verses as if they were your own words. You will be amazed how much this simple shift will improve your quality of life.
I am thankful that God has adopted me and calls me His child
I praise you Lord because you are my strong tower, my refuge in time of trouble
I praise you Lord for how far you have brought me and for all you are doing in my life
Thank you, Lord for working all things together for my good
Thank you, Lord for the power of praise