By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me ... to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:1, 3).
Garments or clothing are things that we wear every day. They are not made just to hang in our closets.
We also have a spiritual garment to wear -- praise. If we leave it hanging, we will fail to grow in our relationship with the Lord. Therefore, we must choose to wear it in order to be a praising person, or be left without the joy that comes from praising our Savior.
There are many reasons we have for praising the Lord -- salvation, mercy, grace, family, health, and provision for our needs. When things are going well and we feel happy, it is easy to praise Him. However, when times are hard, often we don't feel like praising God or reading the Bible.
Regardless of how we feel, if we lift up the name of Jesus, He will remove the cloud of discouragement surrounding us and give us His power and strength.
It is when we fix our eyes on Christ through praise that He changes us. Our circumstances may stay the same or even grow more difficult. We may not see an end in sight, but because we know our future is in heaven with the Lord, we can continue to praise His name.
True praise is like a river that flows from your heart. May the words of Fanny Crosby be your prayer every day:
Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth -- His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory; strength and honor give to His holy name!
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for giving me joy where there was despair. Today, I choose hope and joy over discouragement. May Your praise continually be on my lips, even when it is hard to praise You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more" (Psalm 71:14).