A “New” Weapon for Hard Times
Praising God Beats Depression
Dale M. Sides
I was standing outside my boatshed last Wednesday evening before our home fellowship and the Lord spoke to me. He said, “I want to give you a new weapon for my people.” Man, does Yeshua know how to get my attention!
“Yes Sir,” I replied, “I’d very much like to know it.” Without delay, He plainly said, “Praising God beats depression.”
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1–3
Of course, this is not a new truth, as we can see from Isaiah 61:3 and other verses; but for me at this point in time, it was a fresh revelation. And I believe it is a revelation that needs to be brought back to the attention of the body of Christ, especially now as we see so much discouragement around us.
We must be reminded that we are in a spiritual war that requires spiritual weapons—and praise is a weapon!
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand. Psalm 149:5–6
The first battlefield that we must deal with is our own mind. The Scriptures tell us that we must be strong in the Lord, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we are dealing with discouragement, despondency, and depression, then we must pick up the weapon of praise and be joyful in His glory. His glory will come as we praise Him.
As most of you know, I have been quite verbose for awhile now about impending hard times and am very aware that it appears those times are quickly coming upon us. I have endeavored to prepare myself, my family, and you—through warnings and teachings that have covered spiritual, mental, and physical needs.
I do not believe that things will get any easier through the upcoming days; they will probably get worse. But this truth remains: praising God beats depression!
Praising God is what called angels to deliver Paul and Silas out of jail.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. Acts 16:25–26
Praising God is what enabled Jehoshaphat to defeat the armies of the Moabites and Ammonites.
And when he
[Jehoshaphat] had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the
LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before
the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth
for ever. And when they began to sing
and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the
Praising God is a weapon. Not only does it summon the angels for protection, but as we saw in Isaiah 61:3, it drives away demons of despair, depression, and heaviness. King David knew this. Even though he was a sling-throwing, giant-killing warrior, he had to encourage himself in the Lord. In 1 Samuel 30, we find an account that shows him in a very difficult situation. Upon returning to Ziklag from the battlefield, he and his men found the city burned and all the people gone! They had traveled three days on foot to return to their families—only to discover their homes destroyed and their wives, sons, and daughters captured by the Amalekites. In 1 Samuel 30:4, we see the intensity of the discouragement and depression that hit David and his men.
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.1 Samuel 30:4
This tragedy far exceeded just the loss of their homes—their loved ones had been captured by the enemy! They wept and wept “until they had no more power to weep.” They had reached a point of complete and utter despair.
To make matters worse, verse 6 tells us that the men were so upset they wanted to stone David.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters.1 Samuel 30:6a
David was greatly distressed,
and many a good man would have given up and called it quits. But not David; the
sweet psalmist of
But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.1 Samuel 30:6b
Although the verse does not clearly spell it out, I believe that when David “encouraged himself in the Lord his God,” he did it through praise. We can see this was his habit throughout the book of Psalms. The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say, is that as he sought the Lord and praised Him for the victory, he received the necessary revelation to turn the dark circumstances around. When David and his men carried out the revelation, they recovered all that had been taken from them—and more, since they also gained the spoils of the battle. It is worth noting, however, that David encouraged himself in the Lord first—then the victory came. Praising God beats depression!
Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” When perilous or evil times come upon us, we should react by opening our mouths and praising our God.
We praise God because of Who He is. He is good, and we have so many things to be thankful for. Best of all, we have the hope of a continuing city and an inheritance that is out of this world. Even though our earthly bodies are corrupting and will die, we will never die because we are regenerated spirits waiting for our new heavenly bodies. So no matter what the world throws at us, we can live above it if we continually praise God with the fruit of our lips.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:14–15
We are to give Him thanks (praise Him) continually—no matter what our circumstances.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.1 Thessalonians 5:18
This scripture says in every
thing to give thanks. Notice also that it does not say to thank Him for everything (including bad
circumstances), but we are to thank Him in
the midst of them. That is the opposite of complaining about them.
Thanksgiving and praise are the antithesis of grumbling and murmuring. The
No matter what happens around us, we are equipped with a weapon of “mass destruction”—meaning we can destroy the works of the enemy through it. However it is also a weapon of mass instruction., meaning that we can teach others to do the same. And if they don’t know Him, we can lead them to Him. They will be drawn to us as they see the glory of the Lord upon our faces in the midst of hard times. Anybody can praise God on the sunny days—even unbelievers can be happy on those days. But those who know Him for Who He is, and not just for what He can do, can sing and dance in the rain—in the midst of the raging storm, we will praise our God.
Praising God beats depression!
© 2008 Liberating Ministries for Christ International, Inc