You've Gotta Learn How To Praise Your Way Through

Depression is debilitating.  Sadness is exhausting.  Brokenness hurts so much.  But the good news is, YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH. I promise.

Have you experienced situational depression caused by the death of a loved one or some horrible situation you've found yourself stuck in? Or, like me, you have been diagnosed with clinical depression and battled the physical and emotional effects of the disorder your whole life? Either way, we all go through bouts of depression.  I've found that regardless of the cause, there is one thing that holds true...

Depression can be defeated with praise.

First, let me say that depending on what you're going through, you may need to seek professional help or the counsel of your Pastor to properly understand the severity of your feelings and learn how to best deal with what you're going through.  I've done both.  But from years of my own personal struggle, I've found that I also need coping mechanisms in the moment.  Something I can do immediately when I feel the cloud of depression settling in my spirit.  The best coping mechanisms I've found are prayer and praise.    

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
— Psalm 34:1

I've blogged a bit about prayer before, so today I wanted to share about praise.  The truth is that no matter what we're going through, God still deserves our praise.  Even when we're depressed, mad or disappointed, He still deserves our praise, because our faith is not based on what we can see.  It is not based on the situation we currently find ourselves in.  It is based on our knowledge that He will work all things together for our good.  (Romans 8:28)  ALL things - even the bad stuff.  Even the sad stuff.  ALL things are a part of His master plan to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)  

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
— Hebrews 10:23

Those promises are hard to hold onto when tragedy hits or when your emotions feel like they are crushing your ability to function.  I know. I've been there.  But hold on we must.  Pain does eventually end.  In the meantime, we must praise.  

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him my Savior and my God.
— Psalm 43:5

When you feel like there is nothing you can do, hope against hope (Romans 4:18); cling to the mere possibility that God will bring you through it.  Your praise doesn't have to be elaborate or fancy.  You can just repeat "Bless your holy name Lord.  Bless the name of Jesus.  I give you praise." It's amazing how when you close your eyes and just focus on giving Him praise, you can shut out those debilitating feelings.  The struggles might not go away, but you will find peace and the strength to continue to go through.  

I want to share with you a beautiful song that's encouraged me through a lot.  I hope it reminds you that no matter what you're going through, you can make it.  That like Job, you can praise God even in the midst of devastation - you can still offer God a broken hallelujah.