When we face struggles in life, when obstacles prevent us from moving forward, and when circumstances seem beyond our control, it is easy to begin to despair. This can lead to depression. However, there is a very simple way of getting rid of any negativity and that is by praising God!
Many years ago, Isaiah prophesied: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (see Isaiah 61:1-3).
About 2,000 years ago, Jesus went into the temple, picked up the scroll of Isaiah, and read this passage. Then he put the scroll down, looked up at his listeners, and said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21). To say something "is fulfilled" means it has been done. Three years later, as he hung on the cross on Calvary, Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The entire purpose for his mission was accomplished, which meant that all these things that he came to do were done!
"So," you may ask, "if he has done everything, then why do we still despair?" The reason is that we are not appropriating what is ours. Let me explain. Are there times in your life when you despair, are despondent, are dejected, or are depressed? Well, the antidote is to wear the garment of praise that Jesus has given us, but we do not wear the garment! One reason is perhaps because we were never aware that such a garment existed. Another reason is perhaps because we don't know how to wear it.
Well, now you know that a garment of praise exists! As for the second reason, wearing it consists of simply opening our mouths and praising our Lord! What's the logic? It lies in the fact that when we praise God, we glorify him, acknowledging that he is great, mighty, and powerful. And as we praise God, we will soon find that this spirit — notice Scripture calls it a *spirit* of despair — flees, leaving us joyful again because darkness cannot exist in the presence of the light. But don't take my word for it. Try it and see.
I will be speaking more about this and the other amazing things that happen when we praise the Lord on "An Hour with Aneel Aranha" this Saturday, so please register if you haven't already.
May the Spirit be with you.