When I think about who God is and my relationship with Him, I am reminded of how He has carried me through every season of my life. He is not just a God who is in the beginning and the end, but in the messy middle parts of life. This is the very reason why I choose to live a life of praise to God.
What I am going through it does not dictate my praise to God. It is easy to make the choice to praise God when everything is going right and you’re on top of the mountain. It’s another thing to choose to praise when you’re in the valley and you feel your whole life is falling apart. When life hands you a circumstance like losing a loved one, financial hardship, rebelling kids, it is hard to choose praise when life gives you an excuse to chastise. What I am learning in my journey with God is this – in the seasons of the valley, my praise becomes my weapon. When I praise God in the midst of my hard season, I become more aware of His presence. If we are not careful, we can allow our current circumstances to desensitize us to the presence of God.
When I am aware of the presence of God, I understand the power I have access to. The Bible encourages believers that God inhabits the praises of His people. When we praise God, we invite Him into our current circumstance and He begins to do what only He can do. Praise fixes our perspective! When we begin to praise God, our focus stops being on our circumstance but on the God of breakthrough. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we are able to overcome the struggles that we face. When our perspective is on who God is, we fight from victory instead of for victory.
Whenever I am stressed and overwhelmed with life, I don’t always have the words for it. I often will just start by thanking God and telling Him who He is. As I start to praise Him, I feel the heaviness of life begin to lift off of me. I’m not saying that the circumstances are gone in the moment, but how I carry it begins to shift.
Praise is more than just a song in a church service. It is more than just what we do on Thanksgiving with our family. It is a lifestyle. When you choose to live a life of praise, it will carry you through every season of your life. No matter how weak or strong it is! Your praise will lead you to your breakthrough!
I want to challenge you to increase your level of praise this season. Praise God for who He is and what He has done. Let it not be just a moment to get you by. Let it be what your life cries out. As you increase in praise, your awareness to His presence will as well. When we invite the presence of God into our lives through praise, He always leaves things better than how He found it.
Tyler Jones is Student Ministry Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-582-1528.