Praise in Strange Times

"A grateful heart is the biggest barrier to depression," wrote Selwyn Hughes, a Welsh minister.

King David must have known that. He found the most unusual times to praise the Lord. Psalm 34 was written regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech. This was probably not the happiest moment in his life. David "was afraid...so he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard" (1 Samuel 21:12-13).

Yet when David wrote about that incident, he declared,

"I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the LORD;
Let all who are discouraged take heart."

The word "discouraged" means those who are "depressed in mind or circumstances." "Boast" according to Strong's Concordance means to make a show, to be clamorously foolish, to celebrate. David was calling us to celebrate, even to the point of appearing foolish to others.

When my mother was in Papua New Guinea she wrote that one of the missionaries, Miss Ellis, had been sick with fever, headache, and pleurisy. As she lay in bed, Satan whispered, "You're a long way from home."

Jesus immediately whispered, "But you're not very far from Me." Then the Lord gave her Psalm 50:23 and she recalled hearing a paraphrase of that verse: "Who offers praise glorifies me, and to him that uses praise over and over again enough to make a trodden road, to him will I show the deliverance of God." She began "trodding the road of praise."

A short time later, the Spirit said, "Get up, make your bed, and comb your hair." While doing these things, she was healed.

Teach us, dear Lord, to prepare the way for You to show us Your salvation through praise.

"He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God" (Ps. 50:23).