The Lord has anointed Me . . . to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. —Isaiah 61:1,3
Praise is powerful! When Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne was troubled with a coldness of heart toward the things of the Lord, he would sing the praises of God until he felt revived in his spirit. Those in his household were often able to tell what hour he awoke because he began the day with a psalm of praise.One day, while he was trying to prepare his heart for preaching, he wrote in his journal: “Is it the desire of my heart to be made altogether holy? . . . Lord, You know all things . . . . I’ve felt so much deadness and grief that I cannot grieve for this deadness. Toward evening I revived. Got a calm spirit through [singing psalms] and prayer.” McCheyne had been uplifted by praising God.
Perhaps you feel as if you are mired in what John Bunyan called the “slough of despond.” Lift a song of praise to the Lord. The psalmist said, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever” (89:1). When we do that, the praise will flow not only from our lips but also from our heart. The Lord delights to give “the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isa. 61:3).
Yes, “it is good to sing praises to our God”—at all times (Ps. 147:1). — Paul Van Gorder
If you find yourself wearing a spirit of heaviness, try on a garment of praise.