A few months ago I’m on the treadmill getting my cardio in and I can see a person coming up next to me. To be honest I was telling myself not to turn and look because I had just hit my stride and really didn’t want to mess it up. But, sure enough she tap’s me on the shoulder. So I slow it down to a brisk walk, take my earbuds out and she says…
“Hey, You are JC Right? This might be a little strange but I’ve been praying for you for the last few weeks. I don’t know why. I’ve never met you, but I know you are a pastor and I’ve heard you preach… Anyhow, at my church a couple weeks ago we sang this song and I was worshiping your face came to mind so I begin to pray for you. Well, yesterday it happened again and then you walked into the gym tonight and I really felt like I was suppose to just come tell you there is a song you really need to listen to. Also, Pastor, don’t give up. God is using you.” She told me the name of the song and then walked away…..
I pulled up youtube and typed the song title in and then it happened …. There I ran (more like a slow trot) with tears coming down my face having some church right there in Planet Fitness as I listened to this song on repeat. (Its the no judgment zone so no one said anything. Either that or they were really worried that I should stop running)
WOW WOW WOW! It’s a simple song, but it’s powerful. So many times when I’ve been surrounded by turmoil, heartbreak, setbacks, defeat and relentless attacks. I love that in just the right time God surrounds us with people who will pray for, encourage and help us to stay in the battle!
Psalm 31:21 says, “Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!”
‘The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ Isaiah 61:3
Here’s what we need to understand about praise and worship.. It doesn’t just happen at church during the music. It can happen anywhere at anytime!
Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said it like this, ‘Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears’ Psalm 34:3-4
Praise is one of the best ways to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver and not on the problem at hand.
I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “My happiest moments are when I am worshipping God, really adoring the Lord Jesus Christ…In that worship I forget the cares of the church and everything else. To me it is the nearest approach to what it will be in Heaven.’
Friends, God has promised us ‘the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ It works like this. When you begin to praise him with a heavy heart, you experience a new sense of hope and joy. Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face; that he’s not only capable of managing your concerns but willing, wanting and waiting to.
Hey friend. Let me encourage you. There are more with you than there are against you. You are not alone in your fight! You are surrounded by the Lord Of Hosts and the armies of Heaven! Don’t quit. Don’t give up! Keep fighting the good fight! HE is with you!
I tried to find the lady after I finished but wasn’t able to locate her. If you are one of my friends on social media or you happen to read this blog, Thank you! Thank you for being used by God to encourage this pastor!
Go ahead and recall his goodness to you; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise!