Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God. Matthew 4:10 KJV

I’ve been thinking a lot about praise and thanksgiving. I know that Satan hates praise. Years ago, when I struggled to forgive myself for something that kept coming up in my mind, I made a choice that every time that memory came to my mind, I would praise God for the blood of Jesus. It worked! Satan stopped bringing it up.

     Satan hates anything that exalts or pleases God. One of his strategies is to get us to focus on ourselves—our needs, our problems, our circumstances, our feelings. When we lift our eyes upward—though they may be filled with tears—and choose to praise the Lord, Satan’s plan is defeated and God is victorious in our lives.

     Remember when Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan? He told Jesus to fall down and worship him. That’s when Jesus quoted the verse from today: “I am to worship only God.” The moment that Jesus expressed His commitment to worship God alone, “the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him” (Matthew 4:11).

     Have you been harassed and tormented by fears and doubts? Do you find yourself bombarded with temptation to sin? Try praising the Lord. Talk about how thankful you are for the blood of Jesus that washes away your sins. Praise sets us free. Just ask Jonah. Look at these verses! In the belly of the great fish, Jonah cried out to God in humility. Then in Jonah 2:9 he says, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed, I will make good.” Jonah 2:10, “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

Maybe you are suffering the consequences of sin like Jonah, or maybe it is the result of wrongdoing of others, but if you would lift up your heart and start to praise the Lord with thanksgiving, while your circumstances may or may not change, you will change. God will set you free.

**Will you sing a song of thanksgiving, no matter what your circumstances?

God, I praise You today. I choose not to turn to worthless idols--or my own wisdom; I choose to turn to You. For who You are, I give praise and I rest in that place of shelter: the character of God. You are great and worthy of my praise!

The Way Counseling
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