You feel a bit under the weather.
You have someone say or do something to you that hurts or insults you.
You have someone you care a lot for that is diagnosed with a serious illness.
You lose someone you love to death.
You lose your job, your finances are strained, and your bills continue to pile up.
Your children or grandchildren are behaving in a way that is hurtful or concerning.
Your marriage is in trouble.
The list could go on and on. These are things that could cause any normal person to feel negative, down and sad. Sometimes we will even feel down and sad and do not really have a clue as to why.
How we handle the things in our lives that bring us down really can be critical. Satan loves nothing more than to have us depressed – feeling defeated – moping around sad – seeing nothing but the negatives in our lives. It is up to us to help ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
There are days every now and then that I wake up and just do not feel as perky as other days. So when I have my prayer time, I always start with a time of praise. I thank God for all of my blessings – which when I think about it are so very many. Just verbalizing my praise will many times lift me up from my down mood. If that does not work, then I can turn to an almost sure fire way to feel better, and that is music.
I have always loved music – it just speaks to me in a way that mere words cannot always do. The Christian contemporary, upbeat songs can just set my heart and mind fully on joy – putting a smile on my face and pep in my step. I think that is why I love so much of the music by TobyMac. He expresses wonderful messages in all his songs and the more upbeat messages get into my heart and soul to the point that I cannot get a song out of my head. It plays over and over in my mind bringing joy to my being.
In the Bible, you can read passage after passage about how worship with music is an important part of their lives. At times, the singers are even placed out in front of the army.
When Solomon had the Ark brought back to the Temple in Jerusalem, we are told in 2 Chronicles 5:11-13a (NLT): “Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: ‘He is good! His faithful love endures forever!’” Can you even imagine that? 120 trumpets being played along with other instruments and singers?
2 Chronicles 20:21 (NLT): “After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’”
Musical praise, has it seems, always been a soothing salve to the souls of God’s people.
Yes, there are times that we can – maybe even should – feel sadness in our lives. We are even told in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for weeping. But, then it says there is a time for joy. (Ecclesiastes 3:4) But we can never allow the weeping, the sadness to overtake us. If we do, we let Satan win. Our God has defeated our enemies and for that we have plenty of reason for joy, for being and feeling positive. Revelation 19:6-7a (NLT) says: “Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: ‘Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him.’”
I believe that positivity in our lives gives us not only joy and peace, but power. We need that power to truly make a difference. Think about it, do you enjoy being around a person that is sad, down, negative? A person that cannot seem to see any good in anything? As Christians, we have an obligation to sympathize with someone like that – an obligation to encourage them in any way we can, anyway that they will allow us. But there are some people that would just rather remain in that state of depression than yield to the uplifting words you have to offer. At that recognition, it is best to separate yourself from that person and pray for them. It is too easy for negativity to “rub off” and you can soon find yourself in the pit of despair with them.
I can still remember a time – probably about 49-50 years ago when two of my friends told me that I was too negative. I was truly shocked and somewhat hurt by those honest words. I was at a place where I was walking a strong, dedicated Christian life. I truly had no clue that I could have been perceived as a negative person. As that memory still infiltrates my mind to this day, it is a reminder of how we need to feverishly guard our thoughts and words. It is much too easy to open our mouths and allow the negative to come out – I am so guilty of that at times. To help with that possibility, I need to ask God to help me stop seeing the negative so much and start always seeing the positives around me.
I want to live my life with all the power I can contain; so, I need to let the positive seep into my heart, mind and soul. I need to always remain mindful of my thoughts, my words, and my actions. I believe that praise can be a key to this, so now I need to set myself on a path of praise and just watch the positive power fill my life.
How about you? Do you want power for your life? Do you want to be a positive person that can help and influence others?
Let us commit together to work toward those goals. Let us study praise in the Word and let it fill our lives to overflowing!
Written by Karran Martin – June 11, 2019