PRAISE IS A CHOICE                                                    Psalm 42:1-11

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar.” (v6)

Praise, unlike thanksgiving originates not so much in the feelings as in the will. We can choose to praise God whether we feel like it or not. The psalmist, in the verse we have read today, is feeling sad, and distressed and seems to find nothing in life for which he can be thankful. But look at how he deals with his downcast state of mind. First he recognizes and admits to feeling downcast. He doesn’t dwell too long on his feelings, but he is careful not to deny them. After recognizing his feelings the psalmist makes a choice. “I will remember You from the land of the Jordan. And from the heights of Hermon. From the Hill Mizar” (v6 NKJV). He chooses to focus his thoughts not on the fact that he is feeling downcast, but on the goodness of God in bringing His people into the promised land. In the final verse of the psalm, he affirms a truth that every one of us would do well to focus on when we feel downcast. “Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.” (v11 NKJV) So here’s a solution that it has taken me a lifetime to learn: whatever you feel sad or depressed, acknowledge your feelings and then decide by an act of your will to focus your thoughts upon the goodness of God. “Learn this now and I promise you it will help save you from protracted days of sadness in the future.

PRAYER LINE: Lord Jesus, I see that I will go through more times of sadness and gloom than I need to if I do not know the correct way to deal with them. Help me to learn this lesson that I have been meditating upon today – and learn it well. Amen (EDWJ)

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Spiritual victory comes to those who humble themselves and seek God through praise.

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