Last week I shared about a recent battle with disappointment and a prompting to praise God despite my feelings. If you missed it and want to know the back story, you can read it here. Today I want to share another strategy for battling disappointment that will restore your peace and joy.
Although I’ve experienced this strategy to be super effective in my own life, I’ve never seen the power of praise coupled with it as beautifully as in a scripture I read last week in Psalms:
“May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 149:6-9)
Now before I lose you with all this talk of war and vengeance, consider the link between the enemies of God’s people in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Throughout the Old Testament, we see Israel battling other nations and kingdoms, physical nations and kingdoms. In the New Testament, though, we are told that our battle is not against flesh and blood, “but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
They battled physical enemies. We battle spiritual ones. Their weapons were praise and a double-edged sword. Our weapons are praise and the double-edged sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…”
I sure hope I’m not the only one giddy about this fun connection!
Our enemy, the father of all lies, loves to deceive up into disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness, and fear. He whispers lies about God, about us, and about others that threaten to leave us crushed and ready to quit. But we don’t have to walk in this defeat!
Look again at Psalm 149:6-9. Do you want to bind your spiritual enemy with fetters and shackles of iron (v.8)? Do you want to be a co-laborer with Christ to carry out the sentence written against Satan himself (v.9)? You can! All you need is a firm resolve to fight back with praise and your Sword, the Word of God.
You can defeat the father of lies with the Truth!
Here’s an example of what this looks like in action: God will never stop loving me (2 Chronicles 20:21), and no weapon formed against me will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). God protects me from the enemy and lifts up my head. He will answer my prayers (Psalm 3:3-4). God hears my cries and will deliver me from all of my troubles (Psalm 34:17). The Lord longs to be gracious to me and will rise to show me compassion (Isaiah 30:18). The Lord directs my steps, and He is able to work all things together for my good (Psalm 37:23, Romans 8:28). The Lord will provide all of my needs, and He will fill me with peace and joy as I trust Him (Philippians 4:19, Romans 15:13).
If any of those statements especially moved you, I’d encourage you to make a note of the referenced Scripture in your phone or even write it on your hand or an index card. Read it out loud to yourself several times a day, allowing it to transform your thoughts. Don’t be surprised if the enemy comes at you with another lie when one stops working- just search again for truth in His Word and tear down each lie he throws your way.
We CAN walk in victory; that’s a promise!