Friday, March 20, 2020

Praise in the Face of Fear

Friday, March 20,2020Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; 1 Chronicles 16:29
Praise in the Face of Fear
Times are changing fast. We have never lived through anything like this before in history.  This is an experience we are all having together - young and old, rich and poor - none of us have ever experienced anything quite like this in our lifetime, and that makes us all equal in this game.  Some things, like Coronavirus, put us all on the same playing field. The same way cancer strikes all ages, races, economic levels, so does Coronavirus. There may not be many things in life we can say that about, but the greatest thing of all is that Christ died for all of us and He loves us all equally.  That is certainly something to lift up praises about in this uncertain time.    
Our praise exalts Him and humbles us. When we are singing to Him, we are thinking about His greatness, His power, His presence, and it takes our minds off ourselves - and the fears we have.  It is confessing our dependence on Him and expresses our devotion to Him. It is the melody of prayer – laying it all out and laying our hearts open before him.  It is declaring we trust Him, believe Him, and honor Him above all others.  
As much as God loves our praise, Satan can’t stand it.  There is no greater victory than for us to bring the “sacrifice of praise” to our God in the middle of a storm.  Satan never wants you and me to be able to stand in pain, hardship, fear, or the unknown, and still worship God. He wants us to be defeated and when we praise, there is only victory.  No defeat - except for the defeat of Satan. Our praise, lifted up to God in reverence, is a crushing defeat to him that causes him to flee.  There is one-on-one intimate communication going on between us and God and there is no room for Satan.  
God created us for a relationship with Him, and part of that relationship is praising Him.  He doesn’t need us to praise Him, He is self-sufficient.  But He desires it, and takes pleasure in it, and we need it!  Praise invites Him into our lives and opens the way for Him to dwell close to us and us to dwell in Him. We should not invite Him in expecting Him to come in and change or situations and work out our problems. We should invite Him in expecting Him to change our hearts, praising Him in all things, through every circumstance. 
True love for God spills out in praise, with no effort. It is a command that is not difficult to follow.  Created for a relationship with Him, praising Him fulfills our purpose and brings fulfillment and joy to our lives.  It brings peace and comfort in times of chaos and stills our minds and brings our focus to Him – right where it belongs.  
In the midst of this current storm, how are you handling your fears?  Satan would like nothing more than for us to focus on our fear and be defeated. We cannot let him have victory in this darkness. Turn on some music and lift of praises to God! Praise Him that He is God over all - over our fear, over our sickness, over our needs, over our family and friends, over our country, and over this global pandemic. He fully deserves our sacrifices of praise in this chaos. It not only exalts God to the place He deserves, it also frees our hearts from the bondage of fear and brings us peace.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15 ESV

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