His praise shall continually
be in my mouth.
...let us continually offer up a
sacrifice of praise to God...
My Word of the Year is PERSEVERE and I'm finding so many scriptural applications for it that I'm truly fascinating by looking at one word and seeing how it plays out in God's Word. For the post today I traveled down one path of my word map to look more carefully at persevering in praise. Very enlightening in that the Bible has so many examples of the faithful who persevered in praising God in spite of their hardships, during times of loss and grief, when praise was truly a painful sacrifice to a great and Holy God.
Perseverance intertwines patience and persistence. We are to keep on praising with a steadfastness that will not wane or waver when deep waters rise. I collected only a few personally significant verses here in my little Travelers' Notebook, a place where I'm trapping a number of ways I'm exploring my WOY.
We all know how much easier it is to praise when God answers our prayers, when He blesses us, when He gives us the desire of our hearts. It's hard...it's a sacrifice offered in pain and anguish to praise Him when we are left brokenhearted and empty handed. I've been in both places, haven't you. Broken, shattered, so empty I wasn't sure there was breath in my lungs. But I found breath...and I made choices to use the little air I had left to offer praise. He breathed blessing back into me. More praise...more filling. God works that way! It was a delightful surprise when the scripture from Habakkuk 3:19 was at the bottom of this page when I turned to my empty canvas. How appropriate!
The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery,
and my invincible army!
Is that not beautiful, powerful, encouraging, lifting....it leaves me with a nearly breathless, "WOW GOD!" God is our strength and when we think we are too weak or drained or broken to praise, He will give strength to the willing heart. If we desire praise over our brokenness, He will gives us eyes to see the blessings in the thorns, the beauty in the ashes, the praise in the valley. I know what He has done for me each time I've chosen surrendered praise...He has WOWED me with who He is. And I know He will do it again. I know I will break again, I know I will hurt more than I can now imagine, but through the hope and strength Christ gives me, I know He will meet me there like He always has and He will bring me through the rain and give me a song as the thunder echoes the beat of His love. He will be my strength...and I will praise Him. He will be my personal bravery...and I will praise Him. He will be my invincible army...and I will praise Him.
I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
I created a "rainy" background by using a very dry brush and acrylic paints. I stamped the other images in a coordinating Distress Oxide ink.
Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps Sets Used: