In this lesson, we explore our connection to the ultimate power source: God!
In Lesson 1, we identified our fears. We held those thoughts captive in Lesson 2 and chose instead to allow God to overwhelm us. So, let’s explore the power of praising God for all He has done for us.
1 Chron. 16:25 says, “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.” This fear isn’t like ‘be afraid.’ Instead it means to be in awe and amazement. I’ve been thinking about praise a lot lately. It’s been my “go-to” cure for so many anxious moments – especially over the Easter weekend as I awaited the results of my son’s COVID-19 test. (Hallelujah, it came back NEGATIVE!)
In my study of praise, I’ve come to realize that, in English, our vocabulary is quite limited while the original Bible texts have a variety of words with slightly different meanings. Maybe I’m the only “word nerd” here, but I honestly did get some insight into different ways to praise God by looking at these different words:
- Hallah – [boast, brag] This is the most common word for praise in scripture. It’s like being a fan of God.
- Yahah – [to worship with lifted hands] This word is used when one is desperate for victory. It is explosive. Lifted hands are a sign of surrender! (see Ps. 134:2, “Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!”)
- Barak – [blessing] To bless the LORD.
- Tehillah – [sing] This word is used more than 300 times in the Bible! God is our song of praise. This is one of the easiest ways to praise Him!
- Zamar – [play a stringed instrument] Yet another musical reference. This word is used with rejoicing.
- Todah – [shout with gratitude] To be used while inviting God’s help. (see Ps. 56:1-2)
- Sabach – [shout] Praise isn’t meant to be quiet or introspective all the time.
- Hallelujah – [extreme praise] To brag on God. This is only used 24 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament, all 4 are in Rev. 19!
In our search for Less Fear More Jesus, let’s consider the effects anxiety has on us:
- Steals our peace and joy. Peace means we are bound together with God/anxiety means we are pulled apart. They are literally opposites!
- Steals our time and energy. On days when you feel more anxious, how does your energy level compare?
- Leads to unwise decisions because of uncertainty. Hoarding toilet paper? Binge eating? Binge watching? Midnight online purchases?
- Damages relationships. Anxiety plus lockdown with a few people for weeks on end? Things can get rough.
- Divides your mind. This makes it more and more important to focus on Jesus.
- Slows productivity. It’s almost impossible to get things done with a divided mind after having your time and energy stolen.
- GOES AGAINST SCRIPTURE! Read John 14:21-25. Why shouldn’t we worry? Read Matt. 6:25-34, counting the number of times Jesus Himself refers to NOT being anxious.
- Start with music. Our song this week is “Agnus Dei” [ah-nyoos day-ee] This is a Latin phrase that refers to a lamb – a sacrificial lamb that symbolized Jesus Christ. Listen to Agnus Dei here. Written and performed by Michael W. Smith; (c) Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Scherzo Music Inc.
- Start with scripture. The Psalms are filled with praise. Read them aloud to God.
- Start with uplifted hands.
- Start with a list of all God has done for you.
- In Ps. 46:10, God commands us to do something and to know something. THEN He promises 2 things. Why do you think He paired the do & know commands with these 2 promises?
- Ps. 145:3-6 says, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall comment Your words to another, and shall declare Your might acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds.” This tells us why God is worthy of praise. Can you list 2-3 things God did for His people in Scripture? How many things can you list that He’s done for you?
- Start in Psalms chapter 1 and copy 1-2 verses per day that you connect with as your personal praises to God.
- Add your Gracelets (personal gratitudes) to the Week 3 Gracelet thread. You should be looking for something positive in each day.
Ps. 73:26, “Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. His is mine forever!”
Find a way to record that God is your source of strength. I’ve put mine below.
That’s me this last week. My nerves were shot, and I couldn’t rest. My son’s job at a convenience store puts him in an essential role. But he tells of a crazy number of people who do not comply with basic safety. I couldn’t deal with it all on my own!
I needed to recharge. I needed the
Sun Son. I needed More Jesus.
We praise You, Father God, for You alone are worthy of praise. Holy is Your name. You are our power source, and we turn to You in this time of confusion. Steady our minds and hearts and remind us to always turn to You.
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