This morning, as I was reading in Deuteronomy, I came across instructions for going into battle. The officers were to ask, “Is anyone here afraid or worried?” (Deuteronomy 20:8-9) If the soldiers were fearful or worried they were to go home before others caught the “frightened” bug! It struck me, that fear and worry are both contagious! We are surrounded in a world of stressed out people. Many are both fearful and worried for many different reasons and unfortunately, it’s easy to get sucked into panic. Please understand, I am not judging – trust me, I’ve battled fear and worry most of my life. The good news is that praise is also contagious! Think about it. Ever been around someone who is authentically praising God? It’s inspiring. Particularly, when they are facing dark circumstances. When people around you are able to see the goodness of God above their dark circumstances, their attitude of joy is catching. Now again, I’m not talking about being fake and giving a little hypocritical “praise Jesus.” I’m talking about authentically facing your fears and your worries but choosing to bow them before God’s sovereignty and praising Him above your fears that He is able to accomplish what’s best in your life. This is hard. I know. But, I’ve seen it in my own life. When I am paralyzed with fear and worry, if I will stop, bow my fears and worries before the Lord, and then purposefully praise Him that He is able to work out what’s best for me, my fear diminishes! And, those around me are benefitted.
Give it a shot this week. Now be careful. If someone around you is fearful or worried, don’t minimize their feelings and don’t diminish their pain. You just try praising God in the quietness of your own heart when you are the one who is fearful, worried or in pain. See what happens. See if you can start a wildfire of faith and joy by praising God intentionally.