Psalm 144:7 “Stretch out Your hand from above; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters.” By Celita Diaz-Perillo (November 2010)
With Thanksgiving…With Praise
by Celita Perillo
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and I find so many people in my life facing unexplainable hardships, overwhelming trials, and carrying a feeling of heaviness and despair with them in their days. Even those who usually hide behind laughter and smiles are finding it harder to do so.
What’s one to do when suffering in such a way, personally? Or what should we do when trying to encourage another soul to thrive past the debilitating sadness, restlessness, and fear that can accompany discouragement and depression?
King David is a remarkable example of what to do when facing such times. Repeatedly, we read of his tribulations, and we are presented with both his weaknesses and his renewed strength. Time and time again, he states his grief, pain, concern, and then he turns it on its head into a praise session, reminding HIMSELF of where His hope, strength, peace, joy really need to lie; reminding himself of God’s consistent faithfulness and goodness in all times and seasons; reminding himself of the many other times God provided and was faithful.
I love the verses that speak of old testament battles won even as the singers went out first before the actual armies. Praising! Calling on God in song. I imagine there was fear in the ranks, but that did not stop them from doing what they were called to do. And their victory came because of their faith, their obedience, their trust in the Lord.
Paul said,”The Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” Does it mean that everything was perfect at the time the words were spoken? Of course not, but his faith was strong, and he knew he was not alone in his challenging time, that God would provide for “ALL of his needs according to His riches and glory.”
When deep discouragment or depression set over a spirit, they pull up a dark blanket over Hope’s head, and almost suffocate out any joy, peace, strength existing in that life. It’s similar to being drawn into the rushing force of a whirlpool, and all strength being wasted away in any effort to fight against the swirling water.
How do we fight for PEACE, HOPE and JOY?
“I will enter His gates with thanksgiving. I will enter His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4
We must remember that He DWELLS in the praises of His people, and in His Presence there IS healing, encouragement, peace, joy, and so much more, because HE IS sufficient for our every need! He IS what we need!
We can have confidence that the Lord will RESCUE, PROTECT, SUSTAIN, RESTORE, HEAL, etc…
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
In the hardest days, and in the hardest times, we must remember the great value of these things…
The sacrifice of praise. The sacrifice of joy. The sacrifice of thanksgiving. These are tools/weapons the Lord has given us to fight discouragement and depression. They are not based on feelings. They are based on faith. We embrace them, and we utilize their benefits like a shield to our souls. Counting Blessings encourages and strengthens us like chicken soup to a sick body.
Dear Jesus, as we face hardships, we ask you to help us to live laying down our cross and following you, no matter what. No matter how we feel. Remind us that you are near, and keep us on our journeys back to faith, hope, love, and trust. As we give you the sacrifices of praise, joy, and thanksgiving, restore our souls, reconcile our relationships, heal us, and fill us with Your fruit and Presense. Help us to dwell in You, and love you with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength. And help us to live with gratitude for all that You do for and in and through us. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14
About the Author
Celita Perillo is a 40-something wife and mother of five living in Southern Italy. Her goals are to never stop learning, draw ever nearer to Jesus, and be intentional in counting blessings; encouraging, edifying, and sharing God’s love to others.
A smile and kind word go a long way. While she has many verses that mean a lot to her, she considers Colossians 3: 17, 23 her life verses.