Jesus brought good news to the poor, the broken-hearted, the enslaved and offered “to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV).
This passage shows us that Jesus wants to bring healing and restoration to our hearts: He wants His people to be happy and whole, but what I want to focus on is the phrase that Jesus gives us a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. Can praise really overcome tiredness, weakness and despondency?
We have many examples in the Bible of people who turned to praise when all felt lost and irretrievable. David wrote many of the psalms when he was going through some pretty intense periods. Jehoshaphat put men ahead of his army praising and worshipping God when he went out to meet the formidable Moabite army (2 Chron. 20). Paul and Silas praised God when they were in the Philippian gaol after enduring an intense beating.
There couldn’t be a character in the Bible who suffered more losses in this life than Job. In the space of just one day, he lost his vast flocks of sheep, all his servants, and ten children through thieving marauders or natural disasters. Job tore his clothes and shaved his head in sorrow, but what came out of his mouth? “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The LORD gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!”(Job 1:21) Job had learnt to praise God in the midst of intense adversity.
Next time you feel weary, weak, exhausted and shattered make the effort to praise God and thank Him for His goodness. In doing this you are saying your strength is in God to help you. Our praises effectively become both our garment and our weapon against the lies of the enemy saying that we are too weak to handle things.
Remember, we just read that Jesus GAVE you the garment of praise to wear. The garment of praise was Jesus’ GIFT to you to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed and depressed. Next time you feel at a loss, thank God and praise Him for who He is and who He has created you to be in Him.