I woke up the morning of February 14th, 2018 and I prepared breakfast for my wife who leaves early to work at around 5:45 am. It was also Valentine’s day and I’m thinking to myself “what is the best way to express love to my family while financially I am broke?” So my wife leaves to work but in the back of my head, I have an idea of preparing a nice meal for my family.
Remember, I’m a work at home dad and so for me, everything is possible. At 2 pm, hell breaks loose and my son starts to convulse and I panicked a little bit but then started to administer some first aid as I prepare to rush him into the hospital. In the background I hear the song by Michael W. Smith singing, “this is how we fight our battles, it might look like we’re surrounded [by sickness, hardship, poverty, war,] but we’re surrounded by You [God]”. So as I undress my son because his temperatures were now at 38.9˚C, I felt peace in my heart and I started singing along, took my insurance card and I rushed him to the hospital. As I write this, my son is healed after spending three days in the hospital.
It was terrible for me when I saw my son convulsing and I was feeling like it was finished. But when I started praising God, everything changed, I got peace in my heart and I had the assurance in my heart that if my redeemer lives, then my son will live and he will be healed; the power of praise.
Praise works like a magnifying glass. It causes what you’re focusing on to get bigger, to be ‘magnified.’ David said, ‘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’.
It’s a mistake to wait until you’ve no problems, fewer problems, or your problems are solved before you praise the Lord. Praise is one of the great Scriptural keys to problem-solving because it gets your focus on God, the problem solver.
Charles Spurgeon said: ‘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.’
God has promised you ‘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. The Psalmist wrote: ‘Seven times a day I praise you’ (Psalm 119:164).
“Don’t just take coffee and tea breaks; take ‘Praise Breaks’! David Kedode”
Fill your day with praise. Don’t just take coffee breaks and tea breaks; take ‘praise breaks.’ Begin to praise God for two things:
(1) His attributes. His power, love, grace, favor, guidance, etc.
(2) His acts. Recall his goodness to you. Go ahead; take off the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise.
Do you take “PRAISE” breaks?
Growing up, I often asked myself impatiently, “How can I keep faith while waiting on God to answer prayers?” I still sometimes reach that point even today-human nature. I thank God even when things become hard and I cannot believe God anymore, He [God] has continually shown me through His word how to wait on His timing.
Only God can see the big picture. He has planned out everything to intertwine perfectly in the end. Part of His plan includes working through our prayers. We pray, yet we doubt He hears us. He has promised, however, to hear His children. Although He hears us, He doesn’t always give the response we expect or the answer on our timetable. Just the end of last week, I got an invitation to attend a job interview which I really needed. When I got the invite, I started praying and prophesying to myself in my mind, remembering Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I even asked my sister Tammy to pray for me as I prepared for the interview. On Monday 29th, I went for the interview and there were only three of us. God showed me favor as I was answering the questions from the panel. As I am still waiting for the response, I still believe God is going to answer my prayers. The Lord reminds me in the book of 2 Peter 3:8 the bible says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” His time is not our time.
When waiting on God to answer prayers, we must believe God will answer. Unbelief is the biggest obstacle to overcome in praying and waiting. “But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” James 1:6–7.
While waiting on God to answer prayers, take stock of your blessings. Are you breathing? Then, rejoice in life! Do you see the blue sky or even a cloudy one? Thank God for the ability to see. Can you hear the sound of the wind blowing through the trees or a child laughing? Praise God for hearing! Turn the wait into a treasure hunt for the blessings that we often take for granted. For remembrance, keep a prayer journal, listing all your prayers with the date of the request. Frequently lift up the requests to God, and record the date you received an answer.
Never forget that answers come in God’s time, not ours. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God has promised His own a hopeful future. Rest in God’s faithfulness, He will answer you.
When you are faced with challenging situations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything that is happening around you. Surprisingly, all of us experience major and minor life challenges. How we handle these struggles on a daily basis determines our physical, as well as our mental well-being. It takes only a single event to convince us we have no control over our circumstances. Sometimes these challenges consume us with guilt, panic attacks, or chronic fatigue. Our problems pressure us from every side, threatening to crush or break us.
Our challenges have a direct relationship in defining our purpose in life. If only we could find assurance that there was a plan or reason for the difficulties we face. We search for meaning in tragedy, questioning our reason for hope or a future. “Why me God? How can I ever forgive? I hate my life! How do I stop the pain?”
Life challenges enable us to see ourselves at our best and our worst. We may attempt to temporarily escape our circumstances, falling into alcohol addiction or drug addiction. Others find themselves overwhelmed, careening out of control — even contemplating how to commit suicide.
My drug addict brother abandoned schooling while pursuing a medicine course. I remember my late mother who was a widow, the stress she went through with her last born son becoming a drug addict and at the same time attempting to end his life. I thank God for his grace because he gave us the strength and wisdom to guard our hearts and minds. Personally, I discovered Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Prayer is how we communicate; and he always hears us when we speak. As you pray, pray as if the prayer has already been answered-that is faith. As you do so you will find a peace that cannot be shaken by any trial or circumstance. That peace will keep you sound and sure through many challenges, and you will be able to be at rest.
When we develop a personal relationship with the One who created us, we discover how God wants us to respond in any given situation. If you are facing difficult decision, trust Him to provide the comfort, strength, and wisdom you need in order to continue toward your goal Isaiah 43:1–2, the bible says, “But now, this is what the Lord says-he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; his flames will not set you ablaze.”
By placing our faith in God, we take our hands off our problems. Psalm 18:1–2, the scripture says, “I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold”. God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, to reach beyond time, life’s challenges, and even death to save us.