When we have a heavy heart, it hinders our race for the Lord (Heb 12:1).  Sadness, or heavy heartedness is more likely to confront us in the times that we are being most useful in our service to others.  Sadness causes my surroundings to “lose colour” and a mental paralysis starts to form in my mind.  Suddenly nothing appeals to me anymore and all the future prospects seem clouded.  Your soul loses all aspirations and power and you wonder at your own usefulness.

This heavy heartedness comes with two common strategies used by the enemy to slow us down.  They are discouragement (when we feel defeated and of no help to others) and doubt (the opposite of faith and which is our spiritual bond to the Father.)

As these two weigh us down, we become defeated and of no service to anyone.

How do discouragement and doubt start in our lives? When we look at the Israelites in Numbers 14:2, “they grumbled” and grumbling led to a desire to complain and be discontent.  This, they allowed to continue in their lives, growing and blossoming until it ripened into full rebellion against God and the ruin of the people.

We should never allow ourselves the freedom to become discouraged and start doubting God and His faithfulness towards us. If we make it a habit to be discouraged and doubtful, to worry, to wonder if we have been abandoned then after all that we have been through, our hopes will end in failure.

considerjoyInstead we are to set our will against being discouraged or doubting. To set your will against it – is to decide to “count it pure joy” as James 1:2 encourages us to do.  We set our will against a heavy heart, refusing to become discouraged and doubtful and we purposefully cultivate a spirit of joy and happiness.

Cultivating a spirit of joy and happiness makes a firm decision by faith (believing, not feeling) to count all circumstances opportunities for joy.  Eventually the enemy has to leave you with his doubt and discouragement because your soul is singing, choosing to vibrate with the heavenly music of praise.

Cheerfulness, a purposeful spirit of happiness, does not leave room for complaining or criticizing and does not give ground to the enemy to be established on.  It is choosing to throw off a spirit of down-ness and embrace joy, happiness, praise.  Phil 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

Praise refocuses our perspective on the Lord.  It is not falsehood, but a decision that my inward climate or fruitspiritjoyattitude will not reflect my external circumstances.  It is an attitude like Paul in Phil 2:17-18 that says:

Even if I am poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.  So you too, should rejoice and be glad with me.

Father, I see now that praise and worship is an effective weapon against the enemy’s strategies of discouragement and doubt.  Help me to purposefully embrace a cheerful spirit, to seek out opportunities to be joyful and filled with praise.  May my heart sing with worship so that there is no place for the enemy to stand and may I choose to count it all joy, no matter what is going on around me.  Thank you for Your love to me, I can count on You.

Is it time to purposefully worship the Lord?

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