Praise Under Pressure

Praise Under Pressure

Written by Jan Jalowiec. 

The nation of Israel was a folly-filled and fickle folk, much like people today. Jeremiah, also called the weeping prophet for all the tears he shed for his people, was faithful to proclaim the words of the Lord to the nation of Israel, even though it meant a great deal of persecution, seclusion and sorrow.

We know he was a faithful follower of God, steady even in adversity, but that doesn’t mean he never had “those days.”

Days when it seemed the work wasn’t worth the payout.
Days when he was just too tired; tired of swimming upstream, tired of being the only one doing right, tired of seeing his loved ones continue to make bad decisions, despite constant warning and prayer for them.

Jeremiah 20:7-8 is quite telling of Jeremiah’s struggle.
O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily.

Jeremiah was more than discouraged. The word ‘derision’ he used is defined as ‘deep hatred or disapproval, ridicule or mockery.’ Twice he said he was in derision daily! No one today would argue that Jeremiah was depressed. Verse 9 supports this, as one of the hallmarks of depression is withdrawal.

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. (Vs. 9a)

Jeremiah was a prophet of the Most High God, and the persecution he experienced was so much that he wanted to refuse to speak of the Lord. He didn’t want to even mention HIS name. He was so low, that he wanted to quit his job. That’s depressed!

Thankfully that’s not the end of the verse – there is a BUT!

But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. (Vs. 9b)

When the LORD kindles a fire in your bones, it’s exhausting trying to quench it. Fighting the Spirit of the Most High God is more wearying than doing the work He has called you to! Jeremiah said he could not stay down in the dumps, withdrawn and secluded. He shared his secret weapon for battling depression: he praised the Lord!

Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers. (Vs 13)

Praise to the LORD is many things, and for sure includes rehearsing the promises of God. Scripture is filled with them! One of my favorites is found just a few chapters later in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

When you feel overwhelmed, depressed, ready to call it quits- turn to praise. It can make all the difference!

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