I've been re-reading an old book called Prison to Praise, by Chaplain Merlin Carothers. He is reminding me of a great truth I need to hear repeated again and again. He says:
Jesus didn't promise to change the circumstances around us, but He did promise great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things.
The very act of praise releases the power of God into a set of circumstances and enables God to change them if this is His design. Very often it is our attitudes that hinder the solution of a problem. God is sovereign and could certainly cut across our wrong thought patterns and attitudes. But His perfect plan is to bring each of us into fellowship and communion with Him, and so He allows circumstances and incidents which will bring our wrong attitudes to our attention.
I have come to believe that the prayer of praise is the highest form of communion with God, and one that always releases a great deal of power into our lives. Praising Him is not something we do because we feel good; rather it is an act of obedience. Often the prayer of praise is done in sheer teeth-gritting willpower; yet when we persist in it, somehow the power of God is released into us and into the situation, first in a trickle perhaps, but later in [a] growing stream that finally floods us and washes away the old hurts and scars.
Philippians 4:6 says: Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.
Ephesians 5:19-20 says: Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 says: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.
Do I really believe these truths?
How often do I quench the Spirit by my lack of vision and lack of faith?