We may not feel joyful, but Scripture tells us in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of the Spirit is joy. If we have the Holy Spirit, we have joy. We may not feel that joy, but we can choose to lift our hands and speak forth praise to God by faith. Learning to praise God even when everything is going badly will change our hearts, make us much more effective, and cause our faith to abound.
I truly believe that my choice to praise God, even after getting the report that my son was dead, was one of the biggest factors in seeing him raised from the dead after nearly five hours. I didn’t know what the outcome would be, but I started praising God with all of my heart and telling Him—and the devil—that regardless, I would not quit serving Him. It was at that moment that faith abounded in my heart, and I knew he would be raised from the dead. Thank You, Jesus!
We have to accept responsibility. We aren’t just elevated animals, responding to stimuli. We are created in the image of God. We can choose to say that we are going to give thanks and rejoice in the Lord. But until we do, we are victims. We will never be victors until we quit being victims. We have to get rid of the excuses and just do what the Word of God says.
Philippians 4:6 says—
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Do you know what the Greek word for “nothing” in that verse means? It means nothing ! It means there are no exceptions. Sure, you might have problems, but you don’t have to worry about them. You don’t have to be careful about them. You can go to the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving and make your requests known to Him.
Jesus demonstrated the right way to bring our requests to God. He used what I call the “sandwich technique,” where we sandwich our requests in between two slices of praise. We start with praise, and we end with praise. We can just look at how Jesus did it in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13). He started by praising God: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
And He finished by praising God: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”
That’s the way to do it.
Even in the Old Testament, believers were told to
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Ps. 100:4).
But the nation of Israel didn’t always do this. In fact, the Lord said that because they did not serve the Lord with joyfulness and gladness for the abundance of all things, He was going to bring judgment upon them (Deut. 28:47-57).
This shows that God holds us responsible for rejoicing, praising Him, and being thankful for all the good things He’s given us.
-Andrew Wommack Ministries