In The Bike Ride Home Part I, I talked about praising God for the downhill moments. It is just as important to praise him during difficult times! If you are already turned off please just read to the end… First off, it's showing God that we depend on him and that we can trust him no matter what. Secondly it helps us to take the focus off of our problems and instead of magnifying them, magnifying the one who is God over them. Is it always easy? Nope! Is it necessary? Yup!
We do it all the time just in different ways. Here's what I mean, say you experience a break up, rough day at work, fail an exam, or are dealing with betrayal. You will either sulk alone or find something to distract your thoughts. These coping mechanisms could be healthy or unhealthy: go out with your friends, catch a movie, exercise, find a rebound chick or dude that will likely end in a morning of regret, or get drunk or high. Hey, it happens. We find activities to do hoping they will minimize what we are going through. But when we get back home, sit still, or regain sobriety the same hurt or frustrations are
waiting for us and depending on how much we talked about it and fed it may be bigger than it was before.
Praise is just being able to thank God for what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. Although the task is not always easy, there is something about being able to press into the spirit and praise God for real when we are feeling low. For me, I begin to take notice of the things that are going right and the great possibilities of my future. When I can't recall ANYthing, I take it to the basics I take for granted—being able to breathe, see, talk, stand, use the bathroom on my own, read so that I can text etc and it somehow spirals into greater praise. Although there may be pain, depression, and even anger it begins to decrease little by little. There is a level of peace and joy that drops into my whole midsection that rids of the weight I was burdened with. As I come out of my praise the issue(s) may still be there but look smaller. I've been encouraged and strengthened by not feeding the negative but my positive. Every time it starts to make itself look bigger I get back into praise mode. For me this could also be:
1. Singing a song loud and totally off key as a soprano, alto, and tenor
2. Choreographing a praise dance in my head then realizing I can't do half the moves
3. Closing my eyes and silently listing all of God's promises and thanking him for them
4. Literally just saying Jesus or hallelujah over and over
5. When those don't work, calling a friend and saying I'M DONE! I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE! Honesty works and hopefully they are able to be there with you and pray and praise on your behalf until you are out.
You see there is no exact formula. And sometimes praise just doesn't feel like it will work. Especially when you are hurting to your core. Just as I talked about in the post, But how can I stay focused? Look at all that is going on, who you have in your circle is so vital to prospering in a world where frankly, it ain't easy!
So watch what you choose to nourish. You can feed into your problems giving them more weight than they deserve OR feed into your promises, blessings, and into a God who is God over all things. Which would you like to see grow? Got it? Ok, feed it!
If you have any ways that you praise your way out of valleys share them below, I'd love to hear. If not ahhh boooooo! lol
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
(Psalms 34:1 NKJV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
(Psalms 42:5 NKJV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV)
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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