By Joanie Risley
In our fallen, broken, hurting world, no one is immune to suffering and trials. All too often—and perhaps even more so in our latter years—things happen that cause our hearts to cry, “Why Lord?”
At such times, it’s easy for discouragement and depression to get a foothold. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Look with me at Psalm 42:5–6:
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!
It’s clear the Psalmist is in deep despair. But notice where he goes after he’s asked his “why” questions… He moves forward with a determination to put his hope in God and to praise Him again.
You see, praise is a most powerful antidote to despair!
It’s not a magical formula that maneuvers God to do what I want, but a means for my brain to focus on who God is and then to make a choice—an act of my will—to believe that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do.
Some things I’ve found helpful to lift my heart in this way are:
- turning on praise music
- listening to sermons
- memorizing key verses
- meeting with other believers
Perhaps you can think of other ways you can get God’s Word front and center to help you refocus and remember who He is. However you do it, I pray you’ll know the power of praise to keep you persevering in Christ, come what may.