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START PRAISING THE LORD

We live in a world where there is so much going on. There is economic uncertainty, health uncertainty and political uncertainty, as well as so many other uncertainties that can overwhelm a person’s heart and mind. Some of these things we can do something about, but many of these issues are beyond our control. What becomes vital is what we focus on. It reminds me a lot of the story of Peter who walked on the water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he could walk on the water. But the moment he started looking at the wind and the waves, he began to sink. As you and I focus our attention on the Lord, He will enable us to make progress even in the storms. But if we start to focus on the problems and issues we face, as individuals, or in our particular nation, or even on a global scale, it will pull us down into the depths of despair. One of the greatest tools we have is praise. When we start to praise the Lord, we take a leap into another dimension, a dimension that opens the way to hope and confidence, even if the challenges seem tough.

THE CHALLENGES OF OUR DAY
We are alive at a time when the challenges are unlike anything we have seen before. This has the potential of destabilizing our confidence and trust. As I sit here and think about these challenges, I can identify a few.

1. Too much information. We are bombarded with information on every side.
2. Misinformation. Much of the information we are exposed to is unverified and we often do not know the origin or the truth about the matter.
3. Uncertainty. Uncertainty has become a normal part of life. We are not sure what will happen, if it will happen, and if it would ever have happened.
4. Fear. The upshot of these challenges is that fear becomes a battleground, in our hearts and in our minds.

When all this happens, we have two choices:

1. We can be overwhelmed and consumed with all these things. This often leads to the development of a critical spirit or even a cynical mentality. We can end up feeling distressed, angry, and frustrated.
2. We can lift up our eyes and focus on something different. As we are surrounded by the storms, the wind, and the waves, we can lift up our eyes, take our focus off all that surrounds us and start to look to the Lord. He, after all, never changes and promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

As we begin to use the weapon of praise, we can make this shift and, in the process, free ourselves of many burdens and weights.

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