The Garment of Praise
to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 WEB.
Have you ever felt so down, so sluggish, that you begin to ask yourself, "What is the point of it all?" There are many things in this verse, but the one that I want to discuss today is the "spirit of heaviness." It is better known by its bona fide name: "Depression."
The spirit of heaviness can settle on anyone given the right circumstances, and none of us are immune to it. We all like to think that we have it together, but really, we are just one phone call away from crying at any given moment.
Once, we became overworked and nearly burned out, so we went to an exhilarating praise and worship conference that lasted for three days. After the first night, I began to feel lighter and brighter. Each hour we spent there under the music seemed to bring renewal, a refreshing of our spirit, like standing under a waterfall.
When I had first arrived, I was feeling pretty down and cynical. Yet afterward, I was as light as a feather and cheerful. By the time I left the conference, I felt like I was walking on air and didn't have a care in the world. I would not have cared if the world were ending. That time soaking in praise and worship brought an immediate change in our life. We had exchanged the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise.
Praise and depression are polar opposites and repel each other. If you are down, depressed, heavy, you will not feel like praising the Lord. If you are praising the Lord, then you will not feel like being depressed.
If you feel "heavy" today, find some good praise and worship music and soak in it for an hour. Listen to it while working. Begin to praise the Lord along with it, and that spirit of heaviness will flee out of hearing range. The garment of praise drives away the spirit of heaviness.Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You today. Please deliver me from the spirit of heaviness. Fill my life with Your presence, bring the right people, the right music, and the right opportunities into my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
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