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Dear Church,

David wrote Psalm 34 at perhaps his lowest point in his life.  He pretends to be insane to save his life, he had to part ways with his dearest friend, Jonathan.  He was being chased by Saul and his paid killers.  He had to run and hide in the cave of Adullam, he was lonely, weak, and afraid.  Yet he starts his Psalm with beautiful sounds of praise echoing from his hideout cavern.  He says “I will honor the Lord at all times.  His praise will always be in my mouth.  My soul will be proud to tell you about the Lord.  Let those who suffer hear it and be filled with joy. Give great honor to the Lord with me.  Let us praise His name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3).

This is a lesson for all of us – we praise our way out of our difficulties. When the struggles begin to close in, when we find ourselves without the words to pray, try praising God.  We see another demonstration of the power of praise in Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in Philippi, the magistrate orders them to be stripped and beaten with rods and after they had been severely beaten, they were thrown into prison and chained to the ground.  You talk about a bad day!  But after midnight Paul and Silas started praying and singing hymns to God.  When this happened all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Remember praising God in difficult times is not necessarily a feeling, it’s a choice and a difficult one too.  But it is also a personal battle cry. In the midst of our struggle, God is faithful and true, his mercies are fresh every morning.  If we can’t praise God for our circumstances, we can praise Him in spite of our circumstances.
 
Be Encouraged,
Mathews

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