“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”
One summer I worked in the inner-city of Miami. Got to know a lot of good people there, but the one I learned the most from was Big Joe. He had a tough life…very tough. No dad. Most his family was in prison or dead. But what I remember most about Big Joe was his BIG smile and unshakable joy. One day we sat down to talk. I was really discouraged about my ministry there. Big Joe flashed that huge smile and exhorted me, “brother…now’s the time you gotta get your praise on!” He was right. There’s two times to praise the Lord; when you feel like and when you don’t.
Our pastor, Brendon Fairley; talked about Psalm 150 last Sunday urging us to “get our praise on”. Here’s 4 keys to helping you get there:
- OPEN UP: Hard times tend to close us up and shut us down. If you stay there you will drown! The Psalmist was always found stretching himself to open up to his God.
- ‘FESS UP: Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Unconfessed stuff crowds our hearts and is like a spiritual sock stuffed in our mouth.
- LOOK UP: Like the Psalmist (in 123) we need to lift up our eyes. When tough times hit we need God’s perspective. Our help comes from the One who is enthroned in heaven!
- LIFT UP: Lift up your voice! There is something about singing. Just something about it. People sing when they’re happy, sad, confused, blue, in love and just about every scenario we find ourselves in. Why ? I think it’s because singing is the language of the soul. It expresses the depth of our sorrow and the heights of our joy in ways that just words can’t.
That day, as I walked away from my conversation with Big Joe, I started to open up to God about my discouragement. Immediately a familiar song about overcoming came to mind. I began humming it at first (I wasn’t quite ready to sing out) but my heart was feeling freer. By the time I got back to the office my perspective had shifted and hope returned!