Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5, 11 & Psalm 43:5 (NIV)
What is one to do when you are faced with the storms (testings, tribulations, trials) of life? Or when you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death(Psalm 23:4)? The answer of the psalmist sounds as strange as the question: Preach to your soul! Take yourself in the hand, look yourself in the eyes, and preach this message: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? HOPE in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5). 

What possible HOPE is there? The psalmist, though in lament, is not in despair. He turns his mind from the disease to the cure, from anguish to remembrance, deliberately recalling to mind God’s grace and faithfulness and covenant vow. He forces himself to think of realities other than his own troubles. It is here that we come to the second element in these two psalms:
Psalm 42 : 1- 4 : the psalmist’s spiritual hunger leads to joyful memories of past worship
Psalm 42 : 6 -9 : which leads to remembrance of the Lord and realizes that God is still in control, still present in steadfast love and still trustworthy!
Psalm 43 : 1 – 4 : the psalmist turns the questions into prayers, seeking God’s vindication and guidance and thereby replaces his darkness and fear into “the joy of the Lord”.

With this “HOPE” the psalmist can say : “ I SHALL YET PRAISE HIM”!
To be able to Praise God In The Storm, there are 2 key elements that a worshiper must do:

a) HOPE in God - To have HOPE you need the element of FAITH. Hebrews 11:1 says "now FAITH is being sure of what we HOPE for .... and you can confidently do so if your FAITH is rooted in His WORD because FAITH comes by hearing and hearing by His WORD (Romans 10:17). And your focus is in the Lord Who is Your Fortress, Your Hiding Place, Your Refuge .... the Author and Perfector of Your FAITH(Hebrews 12:2)

b) You make a CHOICE to praise Him - We can read of many instances in the book of Psalm where the psalmists tell his soul to bless the Lord in the midst of their "storms":

Psalm 7:17 - I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness andwill sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High!
Psalm 9:1 & 2 - I will praise You, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High
Psalm 16:7 - I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
Psalm 18:49 - Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O lord; I will sing praises to Your name. 
Psalm 30:1 -I will exalt You, O Lord, for You lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Psalm 31:7 - I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
Psalm 34:1 - I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.
Psalm 52:9 - I will praise You forever for what you have done; in Your name Iwill hope, for your name is good, I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.
*Psalm 54:6 - I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord for it is good,
*Psalm 59:16 - But I will sing of Your strength in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

I can show you more ... but some of my favorites are found in Psalm 103: 1-2 and Psalm 104:1. Here we find king David literally telling his soul - "PRAISE THE LORD, O MY SOUL ...!"
‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.’ (Psalm 42:5) When we are ‘down’, we need to address and rebuke our soul (mind, emotions and will). We must command ourselves to put our hope (certain assurance that whatever happens, God is in control) and, despite the difficult situation, still praise Him who is our Saviour and our God. Psalm 42 : 5, 11; 43:5 (NIV)

Today are you in the midst of a storm? Is your soul cast down? Like to share with you this powerful song "Praise You In The Storm - by Casting Crowns". May you take comfort from Psalm 121:1 - " I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Monday, April 21, 2014


If Christ Has Not Been Raised,
Your Faith Is Futile,
You Are Still In Your Sins
1 Corinthians 15:17 (NIV)
The resurrection validates everything we believe in - this includes all our praise and worship to our Lord and King. Without it, the Bible is bold enough to say, our faith is worthless. The resurrection also validates our faith in the redeeming work of our High Priest, Who has taken away our sins. It allows us to live with a sense of risk and adventure, because it makes us part of a new order of creation that ultimately cannot fail - our lives are grounded in Someone who reigns in eternal victory - Chris Tiegreen


 Michael Ramsey

For Paul, this transformation was more than just another event in salvation history. The resurrection of dead and the transformation of believers to immortality meant:

1) The Final Defeat Of Death

"And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law" - 1 Corinthians 15:54-56 (Amplified)


Lyric :
The Enemy Has Been Defeated
Death Couldn't Hold You Down
We Gonna Lift Our Voice In Victory             

We Gonna Make Your Praises Loud

Shout Unto God With A Voice Of Triumph
Shout Unto God With A Voice Of Praise
Shout Unto God With A Voice Of Triumph
We Lift You Name Up, We Lift Your Name Up

2) A Hymn Of Thanks!
This leads Paul to a moment of praise. For Paul it is very important to remind us that we must give thanks for the greatest gift that could be given: complete victory over death

"But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57 (Amplified)
3) Final Encouragement

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]" 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Amplified).
It is important for Paul that Christians respond to what the have learned through their everyday actions. The experience of the Corinthians had been anything but firm, unmovable and abounding in the work of the Lord
Some, like a lot of Christians today, accepted the resurrection as a future reality but not as a present dynamic. They forgot what Paul emphasizes in Ephesians 1:19-20 - that the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is the power that is working in those who believe. We can live with that blessing not only in the future physical resurrection but also in the present spiritual one

Have a blessed and victorious week!

Monday, April 14, 2014


"Your hand will find all Your enemies;
 Your right hand will find those who hate You.
 Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! 
We will sing and praise Your power".
Psalm 21:8, 13

The Old Testament makes a distinction between taking revenge ourselves and leaving our enemies to God. Strength and power lie in Him, not in us, as Psalm 21 confesses. 

Apart from many good reasons for glorifying and worshiping God, the role of praise in dealing with our enemies is also strange to many people. The Psalmist also praise God in the midst of facing adversity at the hand of an enemy. Do you wonder how such conflict and praise meet?

We continue with the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. Remember, Jehoshaphat and the kingdom of Judah are teetering on the brink of destruction- they are about to be attacked by horde far outnumbering them. You might compare their plight to a situation of your own in which everything seems to go wrong, or when the force of Satan's opposition threaten to overpower you. King Jehoshaphat's experience offers a way to do battle in such situations. He begins by simply confessing, "We have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us" (2 Chronicles 20:12). 

This confession of weakness doesn't mean that Judah is passive and does nothing - nor should we. A prophet of Judah delivers a word from the Lord. God tells them that the battle is His, not theirs. For their response, the people "(stand) up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high:" (2 Chronicles 20:19). Then instead of hurling spears or boulders, the army marches out boldly hurling phrases of praises, singing, "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20:21). The result? The Lord Himself sets ambushes for the enemy, causing confusion and fighting to break out among their ranks.

So what attack should believers mount against Satan and his hordes? We are to take up the weapons we wield best - the weapons of praise. As the apostle Paul teaches us, "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Faced with the forces of evil, God's people are not to fear. Our greatest resource for resistance doesn't arise from any arsenal known to human wisdom or device. It comes from knowing that the battle is the Lord's. We are never to react from a position of weakness, but from one of strength. That strength is found in faithfully remaining at our post of praise. Our best defense is to do what we should know how to do best: offer praise and glory to the Living God, whose enemies, ultimately, will always flee before His might and power

Quite sure most of you would know this powerful song - Desert Song by Brooke Fraser from Hillsong (see below Youtube). With the knowledge of our weapon of warfare we can now sing and praise Him in the desert, in the fire & in the battle ... PRAISE THE LORD!

Monday, April 07, 2014


Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.
Psalm 149:5 -6

Psalm 149 speaks of "the high praises of God" in the same breath as "a two-edged sword." Of course , we are dealing here not with weapons of carnal warfare, but with putting our words into action by boldly going on the offensive of faith - by acting on the promises of the God we praise.

Let us turn to the dramatic scene in 2 Chronicles 20. King Jehoshaphat, undermanned and relatively powerless, has been brought word that "a great multitude is coming aganst you" (20:2). This text gives direction on what can be done in such moments; something besides reigning to a passive prayer for strength. There are four action steps - four ways to take up the sword of praise.

1) The king proclaimed a FAST (2 Chronicles 20:3). Is fasting foreign to your experience? Don't let it be. Fasting is an aggressive way to affirmed the promised power of the spirit over the flesh. It is an explicit way to reinforce the priority of prayer and to seek God throughout each day. When facing crucial battles such as the one that confrnted Jehoshaphat, be ready to deny the flesh as a sign that your trust is not in human energy but in the power of the Spirit.

2) The king and the people PRAYED (2 Chronicles 20:6). And while their prayer confessed that "we have no power" (2 Chronicles 20:12), it wasn't a "poor me" prayer! In stead of whinning, their prayer roared, ascribing to God power and authority over the enemy. Such a prayer of petition is admittedly prayed out of deep need, but it nonetheless boldly affirms God's power within His will.

3) There was also a REMEMBRANCE OF GOD'S WORK in history (2 Chronicles 20:7). With praise they remembered the story of God's people - the Exodus from Egypt, God's care in the wilderness, the conquest of Canaan. Remembering is a mighty source of confidence that God is able and will again deliver and save. Reviewing testimonies at the Lord's Table is a great way for us to remember His tender mercies and enduring love.

4) There was a PROPHETIC UTTERANCE (2 Chronicles 20:14-17). We must be open to the Holy Spirit's prophetic word among us as a people. He's still assuring us, "The battle is not yours, but God's! (2 Chronicles 20:15) and He will faithfully unfold God's will for us to our own immediate situations.

Ultimately threatening situations call for an uncommonly strong response: taking up a two-edged sword in a spiritual sense - aggressively trusting God,forcefully throwing ourselves at His feet in worship, and boldly brandishing the spiritual weapons Jehoshaphat used. They still work to put doubt and fear andanxiety to flight.

PRAISE is not passive. It can be our boldest stand against the threats of the enemy.

Blessings - TPWC