Psalm 34:4 “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
In describing how tribulation attacks the Believer, we often omit the method of how the Believer can attack tribulation. The answer, very simply, is with praise.
Have you ever looked at high school basketball cheerleaders for a team that wasn't very good? During a very lopsided game my attention is lost on the court action. I look to see some cheerleaders who abandon their mission and began to socialize with the crowd.
Other times, I have observed cheerleaders who didn't know how to react in such a situation so they started talking to each other, laughing and acting silly — ready for whatever activity follows the game.
Yet, every now and then, I attend a game where there are cheerleaders that will cheer until the final horn buzzes. Their team may be “getting their brakes beat off,” but they yell “Go, team, Go!” They do “spirit fingers” and yell for their opponent to miss their free throws.
What is more, these spirited young people hear the “cracks” and jokes being made about their team —most by their opponents but, unfortunately, some by their fellow students. Yet, their sense of pride and duty to their school pushes them to cheer louder despite knowing in their hearts that their team cannot overcome a 35-point deficit with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter. These very unique cheerleaders never allow the score to dictate their joy.
There are some valleys as God's children that we will have to pass through. There will be times when we look at the scoreboard of life and feel that only a miracle can help us out of our predicament. At such times, we could easily punk out and “throw in the towel.” We could give up and began to talk negatively about God.
How about doing something different? What if in the midst of our trials we reflect on the God of our salvation? What if we say, like Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: … ” (Job 13:15)
Never give Satan a solitary moment of satisfaction. No matter how bad the situation may appear, praise will get God’s attention and, subsequently, provoke His intervention no matter what the circumstance. (Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”)
Andrae P. Crismon, Sr. is the pastor of Higher Ground Worship Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is also the author of “Lord, Keep My Mind Clean: A 31 Day Devotional & Accountability Journal”. For more information about booking Andrae, go to andraecrismon.org.