Psalm 34:1-2a (NKJV) I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord.
The anointing, or the presence of God, breaks every yoke and removes every burden on us. There is tremendous power in praise and worship to lift the oppression off our lives. Therefore, let us be encouraged to enter the presence of God through praise and thanksgiving, both privately and corporately. David understood the importance of this wonderful habit and experienced God through it. Out of the abundance of his heart, David spoke about the need to praise and bless God despite his challenges.
The fact that David was living out God’s calling for his life while being hunted down by King Saul shows us that life may not be plain sailing even when we are living under God’s perfect will. Perhaps life hasn’t been easy for you, and you are not in the mood to praise and worship God. However, the more we suppress our feelings or dwell in sadness, the more oppressed we will be. Therefore, we need to choose to praise God despite our circumstances.
2 Chronicles 20:21-22 (NKJV) And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
King Jehoshaphat is another Bible character who chose to praise God when faced with immense pressure. He sought the Lord and reminded God of His covenant with His people. He chose to seek God rather than crumble under the news of the overwhelming invasion by his enemies. It doesn’t make logical sense to send worshippers ahead of the army, but the worshippers were not human shields against the enemy. Rather, they were a form of declaration to express that their faith was in God and not in their human abilities. Faith pleases God.
Also, when Jehoshaphat and his people sought the face of God, they received a Word from God, ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15). We too can receive a Word of assurance, or a personal Word from God during worship. The promises of God help us to anchor our faith in Him. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Because the Lord had spoken to them, they believed in their deliverance.
Praise is declaring the goodness, the victory, the faithfulness, and the greatness of the Lord. Use your voice as a trumpet sounding forth the blessings of the Lord. Praise and worship not only help us to shift our focus away from the problem and divert it towards God, it is also a declaration of faith and a form of prayer. Faith will rise up within us to take hold of God’s promises despite the circumstances.
Sermon Series: Great Adventures and Great Exploits