“Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.” (Mk.9:8)
There come times in my struggles when whatever it is that I am currently facing becomes overwhelming consuming. Maybe because I’ve been struggling with this particular fear for a long time, maybe it’s because I’m hormonal and emotionally unstable. It’s those days when my mind can’t seem to think about anything except my fear, my doubt, and my anxiety. It becomes hard to focus on normal activities such as school, meals, and daily routines. I become crippled and unable to enjoy and do anything as my mind is consumed with my struggle.
In those moments it’s hard for me to break from my crippling mindset and reengage. It’s hard at those moments to even see my struggle for what it is. My struggle starts to take center stage, and it’s all I can see in front of me, behind me, and on every side. These are the times when I feel like everything is going wrong, and I just want to sit alone by myself and cry.
By God’s grace alone, and not by my own doing, Jesus has led me to find an escape from these mindsets; escape from the moments where everything is going wrong the moments where I can’t see past my struggle. Psalm 146:1 says, “Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, my soul.” Praising the Lord has been an escape for me. It’s a way for me to take a step back and shift my eyes from my problems, to my God. It’s a time when I make a decision to worship God for what I know is true about Him. And a time when I have to let go of what I am feeling. I turn on some praise music and lose sight of myself, my struggles, and everything else as my eyes are turned on the glory of God.
God has ministered to me while I worship him through music. Sometimes the songs will make me cry as I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to me through the lyrics. Sometimes I just become overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness as I declare his praise. Praising God makes me remember who He really is, and what my struggles actually are. Praise is a quick escape for me. An escape, that when taken, leaves me secure and thankful in the faithfulness and greatness of God, instead of being consumed mentally by the unrealistic despair of my struggles.
Some of the songs that have become precious to me because of the way the lyrics cause me to see God instead of myself are: Do it again (Elevation Worship), Your Promises (Elevation Worship), King of My Heart (Kutless), Jesus True and Only (Austin Stone Worship), Jesus is Better (Austin Stone Worship), Gracious Redeemer (Austin Stone Worship), Shoulders (For King and Country), Tremble (Mosaic MSC), and Hills and Valleys (Tauren Wells.) These have become especially precious to me, and are often turned on when I am struggling. But really, any worship song will do as I shift my eyes off myself and struggles and back on Jesus.
I have learned that praising my King is freeing, fulfilling, and a way to get rid of consuming, and unhealthy mindsets that would normally cripple and hinder me from life, joy, and peace. May God bless you and minister to you as you praise Him for his goodness, faithfulness, and steadfast love.