One of those most important things you can do as part of your life’s journey is to remind yourself of the promises of God. This goes beyond platitudes and sayings of personal empowerment and theologically inaccurate sayings (like “God will never give you more than you can handle.”) There are promises throughout the Word of God that contain true spiritual power. Not because you say them over and over, but because when the Lord quickens His Word to your spirit, the Lord watches over His Word to see that it is accomplished. (Joshua 1:12)
God is light, and in Him, there is no darkness. He promised that “in His presence there is fullness of joy”. (Psalm 16:11) Even when life gets hard, worship helps keep your spirit strong. How? Because praise keeps you close to Him. He dwells within your praise! (Psalm 22:3) The Psalmist said this, “For you, O Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will sing joyfully at the works of Your hands.” The secret to the power of praise is thanking God for who He is to you and what He has done for you and praising Him, in faith, for what He has promised to do.
Gladness and Joy Come from Within
Gladness and joy supersede the emotion of happiness. Happiness is situational. Joy and gladness are spiritual states of existence within you that are rooted in your faith, not your feelings. That is why you praise and thank the Lord and have gladness and joy in even amid life’s trials and tribulations. You stay close to Him, close to the light, and the glorious light of His presence will dispel the darkness that tries to encroach the territories rightly given to you by the Lord! Even in a difficult season you can say, “He has made me glad” because it’s true! He can be trusted! This is why we worship! We don’t worship because “life” is good, we praise the Lord because He is good!
Ethan the Ezrahite, a Levite serving in worship under King David, wrote Psalm 89 and he started with this: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, ‘Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness shall be established in the heavens.‘” Ethan, as a servant of David, understood this critical component of praising the Lord: The confession of the mouth. Remember that Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) This is absolutely true when it comes to the “heart” of worship. Praise cannot be contained within your heart. You can have a heart of praise and worship, but you’re not actually expressing that to the Lord and to other people, you’re missing the point and your good intentions are never carried out.
Praise and worship are instruments of these two things: gratitude and testimony. If you are grateful to the Lord for who He is and what He has done for you, you praise Him. When gratitude (which is the point of origin for all praise) is in your heart, the mouth “speaks” its testimony, especially in worship. When you sing and shout your praise that He has made you glad, and tell of your personal experience with God’s goodness, His mercy, His love, His salvation and everything else, you are testifying to the world that He is the same for them as well- and faith is grown in the hearts of all who hear! (Psalm 40:3).
Thought for today: He Has Made You Glad Because Joy is Strength
Was everything perfect for Ethan? No! Read Psalm 89 today and see his joy and triumph, his very real struggles and his difficult questions, but notice this: Ethan the Ezrahite, a man with a heart for worship, ended his Psalm with blessing the Lord. Why? Because nothing bad can ever change God’s goodness. Ethan wrote, “With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations….” and – in good times and in bad – he opened his mouth and worshipped the Lord! It’s the secret to victory! Gladness and joy are spiritual strengths (Neh. 8:10)- even Satan knows that! That’s why he attacks you there so much. So?? You’ll have to FIGHT HIM FOR IT- by praising God!
“Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout. They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your presence,” wrote Ethan the Ezrahite. “He shall cry unto Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.'” There is something powerful contained in the “joyful shout” for those who are willing to open their mouths and let it out, or even force it out if necessary! In Psalm 92: 1-2, the lifestyle of worship is on full display when he wrote:
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises unto Your name, O Most High: to declare forth Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness in the night.”
People who walk in spiritual victory are those who walk in the light of His presence no matter what the situation. These are the people who experience darkness during their human journey on earth, but don’t allow the darkness to overtake them because they stick to their perspective that “He has made me glad!” That is not something you can achieve in your human power. Light – the kind of light that dispels spiritual darkness – is a supernatural experience that is only ushered in through the presence of God, who is light. Remember, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) That is Jesus Christ! Today, with your mouth “make known” – to yourself, to Satan and to those around you – His faithfulness. Let praise flow from your lips. Don’t wait to “feel” it – just do it! Sing a song to the Lord and no matter what questions you have, or struggles you face, begin and end your day with blessing the Lord!
Find Strength and Get Rooted Through Your Song of Worship
- “The Soul Cries Out as the Deer Pants for Water”
- LIVE DEVOTIONAL: “When Life Gets Hard, Get Into Battle Worship!”
- “When Your Strength And Your Song Are in the Lord, You’ll Win!”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!