Bless the Lord!
When I returned from Greensboro, North Carolina where I ministered at a prayer conference Sunday, April 22nd, I had a sore throat and a hoarse voice. Assuming that my vocal cords were overworked and my voice was simply tired, I figured I had a mild case of laryngitis that would clear up in a day or so.
I managed to make it to the studio Monday and record a podcast. Though I sounded husky and raspy, I shared with my listeners that the hard work of ministry had taken its toll. But as the day progressed, the pain in my throat grew worse. I was breaking out into cold sweats. I was achy and lightheaded.
Uh oh, I thought. Something’s not quite right.
Throughout my travels, I encountered several people battling colds and viruses. For weeks, friends, family members and colleagues have been coming down with the flu. I prayed and hoped none of those nasty bugs would attach themselves to me. Unfortunately, my flu-like symptoms worsened and I have been out of commission since Monday.
Though I have posted encouragement on my Facebook page daily and shared a vlog on my YouTube page Wednesday with footage from my weekend ministry engagement, I haven’t been feeling up to doing much else. My throat has been too sore and my voice too raspy to record a podcast. I have been too weak and achy to fulfill obligations, so I have had to cancel meetings and other appearances.
I have been taking it easy and trying to nurse myself back to health. Though I don’t feel great, I am thankful that my situation isn’t worse. I know God will restore my strength and this will pass.
As I was lying in bed earlier today, I was thinking about how thankful I am. You know why? Because at least I know what the issue is and can expect relief before too long. In the beginning of last year, I was battling chronic illness. I didn't even know what was wrong with me until weeks before God miraculously healed me. So what I'm going through right now is very minor by comparison.
So even though I'm not 100 percent recovered, I am 100 percent thankful.
I’m a firm believer that we must look for the positive in all scenarios. We have to find reasons to be grateful in every circumstance. Whenever I feel tempted to complain about negative situations, I’m reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
David said in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” He wrote this psalm when he was on the run from King Saul, who was bent on killing David (See 1 Samuel 21).
At the time, David was desperate for food and protection and found himself in a place called Nob. Once there, he asked Abimelech the priest to allow him to eat the holy bread that was set aside as a sacrifice to God. So desperate was he, that David also Abimelech to give him the sword he used to kill Goliath that was stored as a sacred national possession of Israel.
The priest was merciful and complied with both requests. But after David left and went to Achish, the king of Gath, one of the king’s servants recognized the revered warrior, which terrified David. To conceal his identity, the Bible says in 1 Samuel 21:13 that he changed his behavior and pretended to be crazy.
David started scratching on the doors of the city gate while letting saliva run down his beard. This man, whom God promised to make a king someday, was relegated to the wilderness, living in and out of caves, and drooling all over himself to avoid danger. What a tough time it was for David, right?
He looked like a wild man, though he was perfectly civilized and anointed to be king of Israel. David’s plan worked. King Achish thought he was a certifiable nutcase. So he dismissed David from his presence. Can you imagine being in that kind of distress, scavenging for food and knowing that a very powerful king, intent on killing you, was pursuing you at every turn?
It was rough for David who was carrying around that prophetic word when everything happening to him seemed to contradict it. Some people would have walked away murmuring. They would have begun questioning God. They would have been complaining nonstop and having an angry fit. But not David. Instead, this worshiper said, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
While I’m on the run, I will bless the Lord. When the prophecy looks like it’s not coming to pass, I will bless the Lord. When my enemies pursue me, I will bless the Lord. When I’m hungry, I will bless the Lord. When times get harder than I ever imagined they would be, I will bless the Lord.
Essentially, David said, Lord, thank You anyway.
Friend, be like David when you’re going through. Refuse to allow anything to steal your praise. Keep your heart full of gratitude—no matter what. To help you do that, I’m stirring Psalm 34:1 into your cup of inspiration. I want you to say it and mean it: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, even though things aren’t perfect and you may have unanswered requests still before the Lord, bless His name while you wait.
In this moment, find a reason to give Him glory. I promise you won’t have to search too hard. God kept your mind when you were going through enough to lose it. He held you together when everything in your life was falling apart. He encouraged you in the midst of discouraging circumstances. He provided for your needs when your resources had run out. He wrapped you in the cradle of His arms when others forsook you.
Thank Him for those things.
And remember, just as God did in the life of David, He will bring His word to pass in your life.
Please join me in praying for some of the individuals on our “Thoughtful Thursdays” prayer list, that have asked to have their petition posted here. I know there is power in agreement. And as you intercede for them, God will move for you. No matter what it is, the Lord is more than able to fix it and turn that thing around for you.
THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS PRAYER REQUESTS
Anonymous wrote: I'm praying that my husband who left me and our 3 children 7 months ago will submit to God's will and stop yielding to the things of the world. Also praying that God creates in him a clean heart and renews the right spirit in him. He refuses to come home. He's lying to his family about me and he is refusing to support us financially. I know that God is so much bigger than the enemy that is using him. There is nothing to hard for my God.
Chris wrote: I feel the world has caved in on me. I am single, over 40 and my mom has passed over the past year. Many members of my family and my best friend are ill. I am fervently praying and asking others to pray as well.
Anonymous wrote: I have been praying for a full time job: 40 hours. I am working for this company called Naturally Fresh part time. They had told me that I was going to be hired full time but as they started the paperwork the corporate office said that they didn't need another Office Admin. I was so hurt . So I just said to God help me to hold out until my change has come. I have been applying for jobs but haven't heard anything. Please stand in the gap with me for a miracle to happen. God knows whats best for me. I want to be closer to home. I am raising my grand twin boys alone. So much is going on. My mom is getting ready to have major back surgery May 22, 2018. I ask God to order my steps. God has been making a way out of no way. I need stability.
Susanna wrote: Please pray for me. I lost both my precious daughters in a car accident on September 28th. Tiffany passed right away, but Amanda suffered a severe head injury, but passed on October with heart failure.
Anonymous wrote: Please pray for my finances. We need a breakthrough and a turnaround. Pray for me as I am planning my church's community block party. Praying for lots of donations. My church doesn't have a lot of money right now but we always hold this free event for the community so we really need businesses to come through and help. Also, I need my finances to improve as there are things that I am required to get for our block party this year. Pray for my son and Kiara to get along. They have my granddaughter Ayla. Pray for Chris, Travis and Darrell as they struggle with addiction. Thank you and God bless.
Rebina wrote: I am a 60 year old Christian Evangelist and have had to put my ministry on hold because I am still recovering from my first stroke in October 2017 and can hardly walk with a cane. Then my eye sight starting failing me and I lost vision in my right eye which they say will be temporary, they hope, and I am on the 30th day and still have blurred vision. I am under a severe attack physically from the enemy. But I know who WINS. Your daily devotionals by email have lifted and encouraged me when there have been days I wanted to give up and had no hope. Please pray and believe with me for a complete recovery of all my ailments so that I may testify to Gods miraculous power to anyone and everyone I know and don't know.
Anonymous wrote: I'm praying for a deeper relationship with the Lord, financial breakthrough, to be a better steward over what God has given me & to continue to trust for my mate.
Anonymous wrote: I am requesting prayer for healing. It's been 7 years since I've been experiencing headaches and have been wrongly diagnosed by doctors. In addition, I'm in need of a job and I'm also in need of a financial breakthrough.
Now let’s pray.
God, as I wait for the fulfillment of the promises You have spoken over my life, I thank You for what You have already done. Instead of giving into discouragement because of what I don’t have, I give You glory for all You have given me. In every circumstance, You are worthy of my praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you desire prayer, please allow me, along with my intercessory prayer team, to stand in faith with you for breakthrough. We would be so honored. We have seen God work over and over again. There is power in agreement. Click here to request prayer now.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!