Thoughts of Praise
Duane Vander Klok
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Praise can be a weapon against fear, worry, and despair in your life. As we read Isaiah 61:3, we learn that God wants to take away your spirit of heaviness and give you a garment of praise. Despair and praise cannot coexist. When you praise God, you turn your thoughts, emotions, and heart to Him and invite Him into your battle – and He always shows up! He has promised that He will never turn His heart away from you.
When you turn your heart toward the Father in praise, your thoughts and emotions shift as well. Many people believe that your reality is dictated by your emotions, but your feelings do not create, nor perfectly reflect, reality. Remember that your emotions do not control your mind, heart, or decisions, but instead your thoughts determine your emotions. If you plant the ideas, entertainment, news, and perspectives of the world in your heart, your thoughts and emotions will follow those ideas. Take care to plant the peace, love, and truth of God’s Word into your heart rather than the rocky ideas of the world.
Pay attention to where your thoughts are coming from. Are they influenced by the Word of God or worldly ideas that contradict God’s truth? If your thoughts do not match up with the Word, they are not true, productive, or from God. His Word does not teach you to be filled with fear, anxiety, or depression, so we can know that these things are not from Him. His desire is to bless you with an abundant life that overflows with the fruits of the Spirit and the love of the Father. When you are facing worry and despair, turn to Him with praise!