“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Not only does praise sees the person of Jesus instead of the pain but secondly:
- Praise sees the possibilities not just the problems
The apostle Paul wasn’t blind to the problems in the church at Philippi, he knew about the people problems like Euodia and Syntyche who were quarreling. But problems will always be a part of life and we can let them control and consume us or we can look past them to the possibilities. Chuck Swindoll once said, “We all are faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” It’s easy to see the problems but do we see the possibilities? The key to dealing with our problems is perspective. When the Israelite soldiers saw Goliath, they saw someone so big he couldn’t be beat, but David saw someone so big that he couldn’t miss. While the soldiers focused on Goliath, David focused on God, giving him a greater perspective. A proper perspective results in praise, you are either going to focused on the size of your problem and feared or focus on the Father and praise. There is a story that is told about two shoe salesman that were sent to Africa. One sent a message home that said: “Get me home, nobody here wears shoes.” The other salesmen sent a message that read: “Send me all of the shoes you can, nobody here wears shoes.” So, what is it that you see? Are you caught up in the problems or the possibilities? Third:
- Praise lets us see people in relation to their potential
The Philippian Christians were dear to Paul and as he writes to them he says: “I thank God every time I remember you” Philippians 1:3. How do you see people? Do you see them primarily as a problem, or in relation to their potential? Jesus saw the potential in people, encouraging them to become the persons God created them to be. Often the disciples looked more like a dangerous disaster than the dream team. They were often childish, careless and cowards, yet Jesus chose to journey with them, to lead and love them. Praise gives us more than just a positive outlook it gives us a people perspective, allowing us to see past the pathetic and view the potential. Am I looking at the mess or the most in people? Ministry is messy, but praise lets us mentor the most in people, to draw out what can’t be seen and cultivate what is rough until it becomes ripe. What we believe about others will overflow in our behavior toward them. Are you despising or developing, complaining or cultivating? Praise gives us a proper perspective allowing us to view people through the vehicle of potential. How do you relate in your relationships, Paul chose a pep talk over a put down. Fourth:
- Praise sees the present in relation to God’s promises
If you’re not careful, you can get stuck in the prison of your present problems. Many today are trapped by their jailhouse attitude, living in regret instead of rejoicing. Rather than self-pity Paul chose praise, fixing his mind on things above instead of below, as he pressed on toward the goal. Nothing alters our attitude more than praise. There will always be high and low points and even though we may have no control over your altitude we do over our attitude. What happens in you is more important than what happens to you. When we see the present in relation to the promises, we are able to hold onto the hope that our future is in God’s hands. Promises protect our hearts from our heads, allowing us to spend our time in devotion not doubt. Promises let us operate above the problems, positioning us in the present and preparing us for what is to come. Praise will fuel your life like a fire and take you father. Today no matter what the prison choose to praise, let joy rattle the chains of your circumstance. Clap your shackle hands, jumping for joy in your jail, lift high your hands and hold onto the promises of God.