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This is How I Fight My Battles

“In the spirit of heaviness, put on a garment of praise.” Isaiah 61:3

They say life comes at you fast. So true! I think 2020 will go down as a year of struggles and battles for many of us. But while car insurance may help when our car physically wrecks, what do we do when the crash is emotional? How do we pick up the pieces and start again?

The prophet Isaiah tells us, “Instead of a spirit of heaviness, put on a garment of praise,” (Isaiah 61:3). When the load gets too heavy, when the money is tight. When the kids are breaking your heart or friends seem distant. When work is too hard or hard to find. When you feel emotionally and mentally under attack, put on a garment of praise.

Like virtually everything God encourages us to do, praising Him in the midst of a fierce storm seems counter-intuitive. What? Praise?! How is that supposed to help? I need real solutions.

Here’s the thing. It works. It’s the last thing I want to do when times are tough, but it is almost always the one thing that can turn my heart and mind around. Why? I believe it’s because while I see my circumstances with human eyes, praise reminds me to look at them through heavenly ones.

When I’m struggling, my focus in on the problems, the obstacles, the emotions, the anger. Praise reminds me there is a presence far bigger than the obstacles I face. And while I may be surprised by my circumstances, God is not. He already knew they were coming, has already lined up the solution for my healing. He is so good!

Praise reminds me of what is true. Namely, that this world is not my home, heaven is. Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He’s bigger than my troubles, and He’s bigger than yours, too.