To 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. Isaiah 61:3 (KJV)
There was a time in my life when getting up out of bed was hard. I just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. I felt fatigued, despite a good night’s sleep. A cloak of unhappiness seemed to cover me and shrouded me from head to toe. My feet felt like they were wearing lead shoes and every step was a struggle. My thoughts were centered on only negativity. Thoughts drifted through my mind –
This unhappy time will never end. Why did this happen to me? How can I go on? My personal world was in chaos and I felt downcast and overwhelmed.
The spirit of heaviness is like a chain binding us, but the spirit of praise breaks the chain and sets the spirit free. We all know something of the spirit of heaviness and how it distresses us. It is those who feel this burden of spirit, yet trust in the Lord, that are promised deliverance from it by putting on the garment of praise. In this suggestion from the Lord of an antidote for the spirit of heaviness, he reveals the power of praise.
The attitude of Paul and Silas in prison in Philippi gives an impressive illustration of the wonderful power of praise. (Acts 16) They were unjustly imprisoned, ill-treated for doing good. Their feet were made fast in the stocks, and their backs were bleeding. What could they do? What they did do was to put on the garment of praise.
We read that “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God.” (vs 25) The prisoners heard them—prisoners who no doubt were curious about these newcomers. The remark of Paul, “We are all here” (vs. 28), suggests that there were others in the same dungeon with them. No doubt these—criminals, as they probably were—were puzzled because they heard prayers, and heard Paul and Silas sing a duet. It was a song of praise to God, and the prisoners heard it. The jailer also heard it. And God surely heard, and his answer was swift and complete. When these two disciples put on the garment of praise, the earthquake came and delivered them, and the jailer got the Truth; and out of that experience there was added to the church at Philippi.
Now – putting on the garment of praise is a choice.
Satan whispers, It’s impossible. You’re a failure. You’ll never win. You’re going to fail. Your faith is futile. You have nothing to offer. Give up…
But, God whispers. I love you. I will not fail you !!!! I will provide for you. I will sustain you. I will work all things together for your good. He calls for our faith to rest in Him…in His abilities…NOT ours.
Faith requires trust. So, today, I’m choosing to trust God. To never give up. To press on. To live obedient to His Voice. To believe in His faithfulness, knowing He will lead me. He will guide me. His LOVE for me will never fail!
I’m choosing to praise !!!!!
Praise is a weapon and always wins the battle. Listening to praise music can change your whole attitude when you’re going through hard times and reading uplifting verses will give you ammunition for the battle. Listed below are a few of the verses that always lift me up and help me to put my praise on.
I Peter 5:10 (KJV) – But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Isaiah 43:2 (KJV) – When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire , thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
Psalms 46:1-3 (KJV) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah……… (verse 7) The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalms 28: 6 & 7 (Message Bible) Blessed be God – he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now I’m jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him.
My personal favorite is this verse and in the Amplified version it really shows how emphatic God is to never fail us !!!!!
Hebrews 13:5b & 6 Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you!) Assuredly not! So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm. I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me?
Jeremiah 29:11 (Message Bible) I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
When I begin to praise I am reminded that the battle I’m going through is the Lord’s. I begin thanking, worshiping, and loving on God because of all that He has done for me and all that He is going to do. I find that I almost immediately start feeling peaceful and comforted. Strengthened for the journey. I’m able to give my burdens to the Lord !!!!!
So don’t let heaviness have its way with you. Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and give the devil a black eye !!!!
How do you put on the garment of praise in your life?