How can I find joy and peace in all circumstances?

Start with PRAISE!!!

Psalm 150: 6 (NIV) Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.

This morning while I was spending quiet moments with the Lord, this verse reminded me of my friend who has undergone 7 surgeries to repair damage on her vocal chords incurred from her bout with throat cancer. The Lord has blessed my friend with so many talents. She is not currently serving on our worship team at church but when she was, you could tell God had gifted her to usher people into His presence through music.

More than once, I tried to put myself in her shoes thinking about how I would react to circumstances that may or may not have me singing again. I know that if I had been her in that situation I might question “why” especially when God has given the gift of leading and encouraging people to praise and worship Him.  But my friend doesn’t ask “why.” She praises God because she understands who He is and she knows that God has a plan and a purpose for her life.

I have learned a great deal about praising God in all circumstances from my friend. I have also experienced first-hand the unexplainable joy that comes when we praise God for who He is and the things He’s done.  My friend is a great example of joy-filled praise in every circumstance.   Her love for the Lord shines through in everything she does and I believe it’s because she understands the benefits we receive when we praise God.

Benefit: Strength

Exodus 15: 1-21 reminds me about the importance of praise. In these verses we see Moses’ song of victory and praise after God led Israel of Egypt and saved them by parting the Red Sea.

Exodus 15:2 (NCV) The Lord gives me strength and makes me sing; he has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him.”

Just like this verse in Exodus, my friend receives strength from God to face her circumstance head-on when she sings praises to Him.

Benefit: Focused attention on God

In 1 Chronicles 15 – 16 the story is told of the Israelites carrying the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. In preparation for the journey, “David commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their kindred as singers” (1 Chronicles 15: 16) to lead the procession with songs of praise. Why? Because  music and singing (praising God) were a cherished part of Israel’s culture.

Praising God helps us focus our attention on God and not the “stuff” we all go through. Singing songs of praise proclaim God’s greatness by giving Him the glory no matter the out-come of our circumstance.

After each surgery my friend wasn’t able to sing for weeks at a time. But I know this temporary setback didn’t stop her from praising God. Even though she couldn’t sing praises to the Father, she still praised him with all her heart through her attitude and life.

Thank you friend for being an example of praising God in all circumstances. I love you…mote!

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