Constant worship clears the debris from our hearts. Praise is the cleansing element that flushes the trash of worry and anxiety.”- Max Lucado
“Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.”- Acts 16:25-26 (THE MESSAGE)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 6 of Help is Here with a reference to a 2018 study by the American Psychiatric Association. The study revealed that 51% of Americans described themselves as anxious. So, for the first time, this tipped the scales in favor of worry.
Above all, Max cautions, Satan peddles this fear. He teaches a class called the Language of Anxiety. In the class Sata parlays the fine art of fear distribution. Therefore, the evil one prods us to exaggerate, overstate, and amplify. In addition, assume the worst. See no escape, solution, or hope, Satan snarls.
However, Paul and Silas modeled the practice of celebration and praise. Even though Roman authorities in Philippi beat them with rods and put their feet in stocks, Paul and Silas sang hymns. So robustly that the other prisoners heard them.
But, Max stresses, Paul and Silas had no idea how the story would end. As Pastor Lucado quips, they hadn’t read Acts 16! Unsure of their deliverance, still they praised their Deliverer! And, Max adds, so can you. Rather than panic, choose to praise.
In conclusion, Max offers these words of hope:
“The Holy Spirit will give you the power; you just have to use it. When the storm of fear comes, speak against it. When the evil one draws near, rebuke him! Stand firm against the forces of hell. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind’ (2 timothy 1:7 NKJV).”
Hence, take a deep breath and relax. The Holy Spirit stands ready to help.
Today’s question: How does praise work as the cleansing element in your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Decisions everywhere – weighty choices”