Isaiah 61:1-3 (King James Version)
1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
It has been my personal experience (and is proven Biblically) that when you get down in the dumps or feel out of sorts the best remedy for that situation is always praise and thanksgiving. If I am having one of those days instead of feasting on my troubles I shall begin taking a look at my blessings.
Jesus never downgrades our troubles or compares us with anyone else. He never tells us, "If you think you have trouble then you should see the trouble your neighbor is having." No, he cares about each of our needs as if we were the only one on earth with a problem. However, He also knows how miserable it can be for us when we wallow in despair. He has given to us the perfect way out of the prison of trouble; it is the very key that unlocks the door to the cell of loneliness, frustration and self-pity. It is called praise.
This goes so deep against the grain of human nature that the very idea really does sound ridiculous. Praise and thanksgiving right smack middle of trouble sounds almost like, well, just weird. But nevertheless, some of the greatest miracles and blessings have been born out of this simple yet effective solution.
There are more examples in the Bible than I can count where praise has dulled if not completely erased trouble. David seemed to be a magnet for trouble but through it was born most of the Book of Psalms - songs of praise and worship. God labeled David as a man after His own heart. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for doing good and preaching the Word of God. They had stripes upon their backs and were in pain. If anyone had the right to feel sorry for themselves it was Paul and Silas. But instead of crying out about their troubles they began to pray and sing. The earth began to quake and the jail doors swung open. The jailer was about to commit suicide but stopped after he was told that none of the prisoners fled. He and his whole household became believers after this - all because of the act of praise.
My dad, who is a minister, has often used the story of Paul and Silas in his sermons. He likes to think of Paul and Silas sitting there praying and singing and God is so pleased by it that he begins to tap his foot to the sound. Since heaven is his throne and the earth is His footstool when He began to tap His foot to their praise then the earth began to quake! (This is of course my dad's imagination and not Biblical but you never know...)?
I'LL PRAISE YOU IN THIS STORM
When I feel at my lowest point and begin to praise it is a feeling that goes beyond words. I feel like I could almost feel the very heartbeat of God. Some of my most wonderful blessings have come when I've been in deepest trial. I feel so near to God when I praise Him in spite of my circumstances. The Bible speaks of how God inhabits the praises of Israel and I believe that He inhabits the praises of all of His children.
Praising in the midst of trial shows faith and breeds hope. When we praise God we are proving to Him that we believe that He will take care of us. It also gets our focus off of the problem and makes us actually excited about what God is going to do in our life. When I begin to praise I feel like I can run through a troop or leap over a wall just like the Psalmist. When I'm focusing on trouble I feel crushed by the weight of the world. Praise is really believing God and thanking Him for all the times that He's seen us through and will see us through. Our situation may or may not change - but in praise we are trusting God that he knows the truth about the things that we cannot see or understand. Just like a child must trust a parent for things, like getting a shot when he's sick will help him feel better, we must learn to understand that God knows what is best and no matter how bad or how painful the situation He will work it for our good. That's how we can praise Him.
Just a few days ago, my 26 year old cousin lost her husband in a fatal vehicle accident. She instantly became a young widow with 4 little children, six and under - the youngest being only two weeks old. We don't understand what good could possibly come out of this situation. To look at this it seems so unfair. But before he died, he had downloaded a ring tone on his phone of a man preaching and it was saying how the Lord says to, "Trust Me." So every time his phone would ring it said, "Trust Me, Trust Me." He had this as a reminder to trust God in every circumstance. My cousin's brother-in-law came up on the scene of the wreck and found him dead. He went to retrieve some of his personal belongings from the vehicle before leaving. After he reached the vehicle he heard his cell phone was ringing. "Trust Me, Trust Me."
Whether it's the loss of a loved one, health problems, financial troubles or anything else, we touch the heart of God when we praise and love Him in the midst of trouble.
I could write a book on the the times that I've seen people (including myself) triumph through praise. But since this is a hub and not a book I'll just mention one. My sister has an interesting situation that happened to her when she praised in the midst of trouble. She was suffering from a condition that had left her crippled and threatened her life. She decided that instead of getting down about it that she would praise the Lord. She was in her house and began to sing the song by Casting Crowns, "Praise You In This Storm" from the depths of her heart. (See video on the above right for the song). As she began to worship and sing there was literally a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder outside of her home although there had been no rain nor storm. There was no more after that. We believe that God was showing His approval on her praise and was giving her a sign. She eventually was completely healed, instantly, in a church service. (You can read a little of her testimony by visiting her Hub Pages Profile. I am sure she would be happy to share more with those who may want to e-mail her for her story).
So instead of panic, PRAISE ~ it's amazing what praising will do!
What are some things that you can do when you begin to feel the urge to be depressed?
- Make a written list of your blessings.
- Hug your spouse, children or someone else dear to you and silently thank God that they are in your life.
- Go outside and look at nature. Consider what you see around you - the sun, the trees, the hills, and rocks. The little sparrow. Also consider what you can't exactly see - how God hung the planets and spun them into orbit, the force of gravity and the intricate details inside the human body and mind. Then realize that after keeping all of these running He still has time to care for you and knows you better than you know yourself.
- Read the Psalms. Sing the psalms! MEMORIZE the Psalms!
Jim JW Worcester from Riverside (Dayton) Ohio on August 14, 2020:
.My favorite song is "God Walks the Dark Hills". As long as God is at our side even tragedy can produce a victory. The best testimony to this is Joni Eareckson Tada. Just because our expectations have been squashed doesn't mean there isn't something that will bless if we look for it. We often miss those blessings while we focus on what we've lost.
RTalloni on April 15, 2019:
The topic of praising God in the midst of the storms of life is important to take seriously. Am glad to find this post just before Resurrection Sunday, a time when early Christians found themselves in shocked grief, not understanding that the Christ had given Himself to the dreadful cross as the only sufficient sacrifice in order to gain the needed victory. If they had understood their responses would have been different, but the lessons they endured were for our good. We know the story of Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection as a whole and our faith calls us to pray and praise the Victor at all times, even in the hardest ones.
Tamarajo on April 15, 2019:
The cousin's story is amazing!
This is a confirmation to the Lord's instructions to me as it concerns this most recent storm that is presently raging.
"I will praise Him in this storm"
Thank you and God bless!!
Edwin Alcantara from California on April 14, 2019:
Good reminder. Need to remind ourselves and acknowledge that God is sovereign, especially in the midst of troubles, and that He will, and always does, pull us through difficult times.
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on April 16, 2015:
You are really speaking to me today. Praising God is so difficult when you are ill and tired, but I realize now I must do it in spite of my bad health.
Ronel Wakeford88 on December 13, 2014:
Thank you for this great piece. I guess most of us forget to be positive and through praising the Lord, negativity is cast away. Thank you for reminding us about the right way to go through trials. This piece gave me hope again.
Kashie on August 17, 2014:
Today it is an amazingly terrible day for me. I was asking my friends in my prayer group to pray for me to overcome my situation and one of the member said: Praise your way out.... and i was wondering what she meant by it. I was googling about how to "Praise my way out" and i stumbled upon your blog. there's alot of things I have learnt through you today. There are days where i did not praise & give Him thanks. When i keep reading it, it gave me hope.
Earlier on, i was praying to Jesus and ask him why am i going through this and what was going on and whether he loved me? I shouldn't have questioned Him that way because He saved me, forgave me, loved me endlessly when i wasn't devoted to Him at all and now when i'm in such a despair needing assistance, i am depressed by my problems. As i am also new in faith, trying to do the right things, i forgot about praising my Father & giving thanks. I am so worried that if i were to say something not right, i might lose my Father, Jesus & the Holy Spirit. I was astray for so many years and now that i'm reborn again, i never want to allow any sinful act to move away from them.
But thank you for the song which you have recommended and it totally describes my situation and how I'm feeling right now.
God bless you for the message you have in here and we will all learn to realize that Praise is the Key to unlock all doors for freedom, blessings and solutions.
Thank you once again and enlighten us with your words...
Kashie, from Singapore.
Joan from St Kitts on April 08, 2013:
I will use this Caribbean term, and say ' You've hit the nail, right on it's head' with this one blessedmommy. Praise does exactly what you have said ...lifts your spirits. I have personally experienced this myself. So many times I have been in situations that dampens the mood. But by just praising God whether by song, through verbal words of praising unto God and instrumentals... I walk away feeling much lighter and with a clearer out look on life. You are so right, it goes against human nature and the idea does sound ridiculous, but it is amazing that the mind of God is so different to the mind of man. Once again, great hub
mathira from chennai on December 05, 2011:
I was touched blessedmommy. It is true of what you say of god and I always believe that when you trust god with implicit faith, he can work wonders in our life.
Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on March 18, 2011:
Mike: It was not at all my intent to discount prayer. There is power in prayer and praise almost always begins as a prayer for me. Praise is a form of showing love to the Lord. When we praise Him through our hard times and not just our good times it shows Him that we will love Him through whatever befalls us. Sometimes we have to lean on Him first through prayer and cast our cares on him before we are able to praise. I know that all too well.
Mike Steele on March 08, 2011:
I agree with you and disagree with you as well.
I agree praise helps focus our attention on God and away from our problem.
Here is where I have a disagreement. You used Paul and Silas as an example of praising your way out. However Paul and Silas did not only just praise they prayed first. You totally took prayer out of the way and focused totally on praise.
Praising your way out no. But praying and praising your way out yes. In Praise God does not speak to you. In prayer is when you have dialogue with God Himself.
Paul and Silas also believed that God has counted them worthy to suffer for Christ sake. This consideration could have sparked Paul and Silas to pray and sing praises. The prisoners did not only hear the praise of Paul and Silas to God they also heard the prayer that they prayed.
Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on October 19, 2010:
Thanks, exjwlaurie, I really appreciate your comment and encouragement! God bless you!
exjwlaurie on October 19, 2010:
This is such a wonderful, uplifting hub! A perfect way to end my day!
You said: "I could write a book on the the times that I've seen people (including myself) triumph through praise.
I think you should absolutely do that! You see the triumph because you look for it! And that is a 'heart-set' that everyone should learn to live by!
Beautiful job with this! God Bless you for sharing!
Mark from Alabama,USA on June 01, 2010:
Beautifully written hub, very heart touching and inspirational, Thanks for sharing it.
I have a friend who wrote a gospel song "praise your way through" your hub brought it back to mind ;0)
Anyway God Bless you
CornerStone51 from Mifflintown, PA on May 13, 2010:
Thanks for a great hub. When we praise God the devil cannot stand among such praise...therefore, by praising God at the beginning of our prayers, we displace Satan and open the door for God's rule to take over. Praise is indeed the most powerful thing. I am undergoing a spiritual attack and have been it seems for a year now...just one thing after another has happened to me and my family. Thanks for the reminder to praise God in all circumstances. I will certainly up my praising!