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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Worship Opens Doors

"Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all His goodness." - Psalm 34:9 MSG

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When I experienced a major disappointment sometime ago, I felt such a deep sense of loss that I couldn't get past it. It became difficult for me to think positively, and I could feel myself sinking down into a pit of despair. As I earnestly sought the Lord for His wisdom and comfort, I heard Him speak a very clear word to my spirit that was life-changing for me. He told me: "I want you to start speaking a new language-the language of gratitude." I knew that this revelation was the answer to my prayers for deliverance and relief, and I took God's words to heart. Suddenly, everywhere I turned, I was hearing messages about praise, thanksgiving, and worship. Let me share with you here some of the things I learned on this subject that deepened my love for God, and brought me out of my depression.

Though he was a great man of faith, the apostle Paul suffered extraordinary pain, suffering, and hardship. In two particular instances where he is talking about the trials of life, he writes about the overcoming power that belongs to us in Christ. In First Corinthians 15:57 (NIV), he declares, "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". Notice that when Paul uses the word "give," he uses the present tense. He wants us to know that God is continually equipping us for victory in every situation we face. Then in Second Corinthians 2:14 (KJV), Paul proclaims: "Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ". Here, Paul stresses the word "always," so there will be no doubt that the Lord has a plan for our success if we'll trust Him and follow His lead. I heard one godly man talking about this verse, and the fact that he had a plaque on his wall that said simply, "ALWAYS". It was there to remind him that no matter what he was facing, the Lord had a plan for him to triumph.

Paul continually gave thanks for his past, present, and future victories, and you and I can do the same thing. Why? Because it is God's will for us. Scripture says: "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be; be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus". (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP) When it looks like our whole world is crumbling, the Lord's will for us is to lift our hands in praise and worship, and to begin thanking Him for all of the good in our lives. Sometimes we will have to do it by faith, because we'll be hurting so badly that it will be difficult for us to see the good around us. But as we obey God and begin to express our gratitude to Him, we will pave the way for Him to pour out His presence, power, and blessing upon us. The Bible says: "Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all His goodness". (Psalm 34:9 MSG) But while thanksgiving and praise open the door to God, self-pity, resentment, and complaining open the door to the destroyer. (1 Corinthians 10:10-11) If we want to check our gratitude level, we can pause and reflect on the words that have been coming out of our mouths. We can't have a grateful heart and a grumbling mouth at the same time.

There is great power in thanking God in advance for His help and blessings. When we are experiencing debt and lack - even through our own foolishness - the best thing we can do is to raise our hands to heaven and declare: "Thank You, Lord, for delivering me out of debt and lack. Thank You for delivering me from overspending and impulse buying!" If you keep speaking words of victory like these, you will see God work mightily on your behalf. It's the same with healing. Don't wait until you are healed to thank God for your healing. That's walking by sight, not by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7) While the Bible urges persistent prayer, when do you start believing that God has heard you? When do you begin believing that the answer is on its way? The Lord is waiting for you to begin thanking and praising Him for your healing, for your financial miracle, and for changing those loved ones of yours who need changing. I guarantee that if you will put these powerful principles into practice, you will have more peace, joy, hope, and faith than you ever dreamed possible. You will look better, feel better, and BE better in every way - and God will ALWAYS cause you to triumph!

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to praise You the way You desire and deserve. Whenever I'm faced with adversity, remind me that You have a plan prepared ahead of time for my victory. Thank You that as I worship You, trust in You, and follow Your lead in every situation, I will receive Your highest and best!

- J. M. Farro


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