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From the Pits to the Peaks through Praise

From the Pits to the Peaks through Praise

Occasionally we all find ourselves in the pits of discouragement, depression, or disappointment. A general sense of hopelessness and despair can overwhelm us. When we are in the pits, we need God to deliver us from emotional, mental, financial, social predicaments, and pain. And God is faithful. He wants to deliver us from the pits and move us to the peaks through praise. But, will we praise Him when we feel so badly?

Praise means “to commend, to applaud, and to magnify.” C.S. Lewis said, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy, because the praise not merely expresses, but completes the enjoyment. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete until it is expressed.”

So it should be with God. However, when we are in the pits, we don’t feel like praising God or anyone else for that matter. Our focus is on poor, pitiful me. That’s why we need to praise God, because praising God takes our center of attention off of ourselves and our problems and focuses upon the Lord. Praising God with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration, and thanksgiving is to be our way of life. It is a response to an intimate love relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

There are many reasons to praise God.

1. He is Almighty God and is worthy of our praise and worship.
Ps 18:3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Praise is a “sacrifice,” something that we offer to God, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe in Him, love Him, and realize He is worthy of our praise. Since He is Almighty God, we should not rush into His presence, shouting out our needs and demanding attention without first paying attention to Him!

Praise can bring about immediate results in our emotions and perspective. As we put on the garment of praise, we will be saved from the demonic spirits of heaviness and self-pity.

2. We are called to praise and worship God.
Ps 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Every breath we take is a gift from God. He is our creator. We were but dust from the earth until the breath of God gave us life. By acknowledging this and praising Him for Who He is, our faith is strengthened and we can pray with much greater confidence.

3. Praise and worship ushers in the presence of God.
Ps 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (KJV)

Some think that worship is a response after the Holy Spirit moves upon them. But, it’s the other way around. The Holy Spirit moves upon us when we praise and worship. Lifting up Jesus Christ, through praise and worship, invokes the Lord’s presence and power in our midst. That is why we begin our services with praise and worship songs.

God inhabits the praises of His people. Israel marched around the city of Jericho while praising God and the walls came tumbling down. That is the power of praise and God’s presence. When we praise and worship Him, the presence of God will fill every pit and situation that we are facing, and we will experience victory in all our battles.

4. Praise silences the taunts of our enemy. Our praise puts evil to flight.
Psalm 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When we praise and worship the Lord in the midst of our pain and suffering, we will experience freedom from the taunting thoughts of fear, doubt, depression, and deliverance from demonic oppression.

When God’s people begin to praise His name, it sends the demons running and it releases the power and might of God on our behalf. Why do you think the devil fights us so hard when we begin or desire to praise God? The devil knows that there is power in our praise! He can’t stand it and he has to leave.

Do you want to be lifted from the pit you are in? Do you want to see the enemy put to flight? Praise God, in spite of your situation, in spite of what you feel. Praise Him because He is God and He is worthy. Praise Him for the battles He’s already fought for you and won. Praise Him because He has a perfect plan to give you victory and glorify Himself this time, too.

When we get our minds off of ourselves and our circumstances—and onto God, His greatness, and His might—and praise Him with our whole heart—the chains of doubt, fear, and depression are broken, and we are lifted from the pit of despair by the power of God!

For example, King Saul was tormented by an evil spirit. So they brought David to sing and play the harp before him. David was a worshipper. And as he played the harp and worshipped the Lord, the evil spirit would leave Saul and he would be refreshed. That is why you feel better when you listen to Christian music on the radio instead of secular music.

So, how do we praise God?

Eph. 5:19-20 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is why gathering together is so important. Thankful, corporate worship encourages one another.

Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

1. We praise God with our body and voice.
Ps 63:3-4 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

2. We praise God with instruments of music.
Ps 150:3-5 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

3. We praise God with our emotions; that is, our soul.
Ps 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

4. We praise God with all our life.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

But true praise is not “merely” going through these motions. Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees whose praise and worship was only an outward show and not from the heart.

Matthew 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

On the other hand, praise is not something that only takes place in church. Praise should be a believer’s lifestyle, part of his daily life, at work, in the car, at home, in bed, or anywhere.

Psalm 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

Praise is an expression of faith! It declares that we believe God is with us and He is in control of the outcome of all our circumstances. There are several lessons we can learn from David in Psalm 40 as God moved him from the pit of destruction to the peak of devotion through praise.

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

1. Patiently wait on the Lord every morning in your devotions and the Holy Spirit will deliver you from emotional, mental, or relational pits and guide you throughout the day. No one has a hard time praising God, as long as they like what is happening to them. It’s when we praise and thank Him in the midst of the pit, and trust Him no matter what happens, or what the outcome is, that God delivers us from the miry pit and sets us on the peak, the Rock of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, no matter what we are facing today, no matter what’s going on in the world around us; no matter what anybody says, friends or foes; no matter what the media says; no matter what the economic advisors say; no matter what the doctor is saying; no matter what our family is saying; no matter what our body is saying, we should always be thanking and praising God, because the victory has already been won! The devil is defeated! God is on the throne! The blood of Jesus has already made us victorious over every situation! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Isaiah 41:10, They, who wait (meditate) upon the Lord, will renew their strength. They will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint.

Waiting on the Lord requires discipline and faith that God is greater than any problem. As we wait, He blesses us with new wisdom and maturity from our trials. So, draw near to God, receive His strength, and praise Him. That will keep you out of the pit.

2. When we get bad news, we are usually shocked. If we don’t quickly remember that God is in control, we won’t feel like singing anything but the blues. However, the blues just makes the bad news about “you’s”, and that’s not where the victory lies. The victory begins with our praise unto the One who has the power to deliver us from the bad news, Jesus Christ! 

Therefore, in the midst of bad news, praise God for His power, His deliverance, and His plan. Praise God for His wisdom and resources to help us overcome any problem we may be facing. He always has a way when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see. He will give us a way out of our predicament or pit if we will praise Him and obey Him.

3. Therefore, thank God for the way and walk in it. Repent and obey His Word. We don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect before we decide to obey and praise God for what He is going to do in our life. Obedience and praise is putting action behind our faith. Praise focuses on what God is capable of, not what we are capable of. Therefore, trust Him, obey Him, and praise Him continually, in all situations, and experience the powerful deliverance of God!

Be assured that God will bring you up out of any pit that you are in. He will set you on a new foundation, the Rock of Jesus Christ, because He is the God of new beginnings. He will establish your way as He provides you with His power to reach greater peaks for His kingdom and righteousness. Not only will the Lord deliver you, but He will bring others to Himself as a result of your experience of deliverance from the pit.

For example: Do you remember some years back when the miners were trapped in a watery mine in Pennsylvania for 11 days? The news media gave 24 hour coverage to the plight of 9 miners and the rescue efforts. The entire nation rejoiced when all of the men were lifted up of the depths of their watery graves. All the men gave credit to their rescuers, but they praised God and gave Him the glory when they said that it was the grace of God that sustained them and lifted them up out of their slimy pit.

Sometimes the Lord allows us to be trapped with no way out just to work for the good of others. He allowed Joseph to be thrown into a pit and he was subsequently imprisoned in Egypt for 18 years. Joseph remained faithful to God throughout his trial, and God raised Joseph up in His perfect time to accomplish His good purpose. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph said to his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." 

So, praise God in the pit without expecting to be delivered instantly. The act of praising God, while you are in the pit, encourages others. God is using you to glorify Him and will raise you up in His perfect time. Furthermore, when you praise God in the pit, you will feel like you are on the peak because you will be enjoying His presence!

There is no higher peak and no closer presence with God than Heaven itself. Therefore, we don’t fear death. We need to realize that the world and the devil hate God’s children and their works of righteousness. We need to take advantage of the quiet times to prepare for the hardships that are bound to befall you and me before Jesus returns to take us home. By forming a habit of praising God in all circumstances, the Holy Spirit will prepare and equip us to face anything the devil throws at us.

But for those without Christ, there’s no promise of God’s power, deliverance, or Heaven. However, there is hope—if you give Jesus complete control of your life. How do you do that? Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Son of God, who atoned for your sin on the Cross. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sin and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Then praise God, listen to His Spirit, and do what He says. You will be greatly blessed, living on the peak—the Rock of Jesus Christ!