When all is said and done, there are still times when we all face incredibly difficult circumstances that have an awesome power to destroy us. The best way to counteract stress in those times, is to begin to praise God and thank Him for His countless blessings in our lives. The old adage “count your blessings” really is true. In spite of everything, there are so many blessings woven throughout our lives that many of us do not even have the eyes to see them. Even if your situation seems hopeless, God is still worthy of all your praise. Hallelujah God delights in a heart that will praise Him no matter what the bankbook says, our family says, our time schedule says, or any other circumstance that would try to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. As we praise and bless the name of the Most High, everything else in this world begins to pale and fade away against the sheer loveliness of who He is.
Think of Paul and Silas, feet bound in stocks in a dark prison with a jailer standing guard over them. (Acts 16:22-40). They had just been severely flogged, ridiculed and attacked by a huge crowd of people. Instead of fearing for their lives, or becoming angry at God, they began to praise Him, singing out loud, careless of who might hear or judge them. As they began to praise Him, their hearts were soon overflowing with the joy of the Lord. The song of those two men who loved God more than life itself began to flow through them like a river of liquid love into their cell and out into the entire prison. Soon, there was a flood of warm light bathing the whole place. Every demon there began to flee in utter terror of that praise and love to the Most High. Suddenly, an amazing thing happened. A violent earthquake shook the prison, the doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose! Praise God! Praise always brings freedom, not only for ourselves, but for those around us who are bound up as well.
We must get our mind off of ourselves and the problems we face and onto the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. One of the miracles of a life transformed by God is that we can be thankful always, and praise Him in all situations. This is what He commands us to do, for He knows better than we do that the joy of the Lord is our strength. God does not owe us anything, but He has made a way for us to receive every good thing anyway, because He loves us! Is that not a reason for celebration and thanksgiving? Hallelujah what a Saviour.