Psalm 34:1-7 “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”
Not only does praise change our perspective and our problems but it also helps us to:
- Profess and confess
Those who try to deny feelings of fear keep themselves out of touch with the experience of having to depend upon the Lord for all things. Only when we are willing to admit that fear drives us to greater dependence on the Lord are we able to see the advantages that feelings of fear create. Today are you professing or pretending? When we feel afraid, we can confess our sins of self-reliance, today too many people are carrying burdens that God did not intend them to bear. Fear can be a warning light on the dashboard of our lives, a signal that causes us to stop and see the problem that needs fixing before the engine of our heart overheats. Do not deny your feelings of fear but know that sometimes we magnify scary situations way out of proportion, and we must resist the temptation to overreact. Instead allow feelings of fear to be the catalyst to take up the full armor of God that Paul talks about in Ephesians 6:10-18. Perhaps you have let down your guard and you need to be reminded of what God told Isaiah, “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa 40:31)
Praise lets us speak out about God’s word, His will and His working in our life instead of being afraid of what others might think of us. Be willing to profess His power and never forget that, “Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do NOT fear what they fear, do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” I Peter 3:14-16. Do not be afraid of being vulnerable, the Lord wants to deliver you as you stick your neck out for him. The turtle never makes any progress until he sticks out his neck, so it is for those of us who have a tendency to want to feel safe all the time. Be willing to rework your perception of ideal circumstances, things do not have to always be perfectly safe, secure and stable before the Lord’s will is accomplished. Rethink your hardships in the light of the difficulties Jesus faced and remember that there are many seasons and cycles to life. There is a time for tears and there is a time for rejoicing. What if the Lord was allowing your conditions to get worse so He can make you better?