The Opposite of Overwhelmed
Isaiah 61 is one of those powerhouse scriptures. It’s the passage Jesus read from in his hometown (Luke 4) stating His purpose and as the body of Christ, it’s both our purpose and promise.
Look at verse 3. After Jesus sets free, He looses incredible blessings upon His people.
To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting…
Now, I remember learning part of this verse as His giving the “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Now I like to use a word I believe can all identify with: overwhelmed. That feeling of everything pressing down at once–it’s heaviness and fainting. It’s oppression in all its forms.
What struck me recently is that if I had written this or reasoned it out, I would have said it differently.
Maybe instead of heaviness, I would give garment of lightness. Or instead of fainting I would give a mantle of strength. Or instead of feeling overwhelmed, I would give relief.
God didn’t do that. He said the opposite of heaviness and crushing oppression is praise. And He gave it as a gift that we can put on like a coat in the winter.
Our Father didn’t say you would never encounter frustration or pain and Jesus made it just as clear. We experience heaviness in all sorts of degrees, but He provided a way for us to not have to live there.
You don’t understand what’s at your fingertips and the power that’s contained in a humble lifting of your heart and voice to your King. That praise breaks bondages and chains off our your neck. It proves that you recognize the God of the universe is greater than your current situation and worthy of all you can give.
The rest of the verse goes on,
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
That beauty He gives, that gladness, that praise–it contains the strength you need to stand tall and show who you are, to show whose you are.
And He is glorified.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by life’s situations and heaviness threatens to take you down. Lift your voice and exercise the opposite. It won’t be easy, but you won’t be sorry.
What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the power of praise in a trying time?