The Bible speaks often of God’s strength in our weaknesses. As Christians, we know that it’s crucial to lean on Him in times of heartache, unrest, and uncertainty. As we approach the holiday season, I have been pondering Isaiah 61:3. This verse reminds us that God gives us a garment of praise in exchange for our “faint spirit.”
But what does praise have to do with finding strength?
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The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. – Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
In Luke 4, Jesus quoted this passage from the book of Isaiah claiming that it was fulfilled in Him. This isn’t the first time in Scripture when we are given the image of “garments” or “robes.” The Bible describes God giving us robes of righteousness and garments of salvation in exchange for our filthy clothes. (Isaiah 61:10, Zechariah 3:4, Revelation 19:8) But what I do find interesting in the passage above is the connection between praise and weakness. Is it possible that praise is the solution to overcoming tiredness and feelings of overwhelm?
Praise is a powerful thing. Thankfulness changes hearts and renews minds. David repeatedly chose praise in the midst of difficult and trying circumstances. Paul drew his strength from God by praising His name and remembering His faithfulness in all things. Even while in prison, Paul and Silas chose to praise God in song instead of wallowing in their misery.
What would happen if every time we felt tired, weak, or emotionally drained, we took the time to praise God and thank Him for His goodness?
The lie of the enemy says that you are weak.
The truth of God says that in Jesus, you are strong.
When we choose to put on the garment of praise, we are saying to the enemy that we know the truth… we are strong in Christ.
When we put on the garment of praise, we are refusing to give in to the enemy’s lie that we are too weak to handle whatever life has thrown our way and we are acknowledging where our strength comes from – God alone. In this way, praise is not only our garment… but our weapon against the lies of the enemy.
So how do we do it? How do we put on the garment of praise when we feel anything but joyful?
- We recognize the truth. We are strong in Jesus, and He has given us a garment of praise to wear.
- We make a conscious choice. Hebrews 13:15 calls praise a “sacrifice.” It’s a choice we make, even when it’s hard.
In Him, we are strong. We have His strength, His peace, and His joy even the midst of hardship or struggle. Or perhaps you aren’t necessarily struggling, but instead, you are simply feeling tired and overwhelmed. In any case, choose to put on the garment of praise that has been given to you by God. I’m not saying that it will always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
Thank Him and praise Him for who He is and who He has created you to be in Him.
Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. – Habakkuk 3:17-18
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.