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Put on the Garment of Praise

…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.  Isaiah 61:3 (KJV)

Or, “The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.”  The Bible says that He will also give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  Let me try to paint a picture for you because the word for “heaviness” is used on other occasions and in other contexts in the Old Testament.

It is applied to a lamp that’s about to go out in Isaiah 42:3:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoking flax he will not quench.  Isaiah 42:3 (NKJV)

Smoking flax is the translation of our word for “heaviness”.  It is like a candle going out, or when the flame is low.  The same word is also used in 1 Samuel 3:2 of Eli’s eyesight being dimmed or dulled – vision is dimmed and everything looks darker.  It’s also used in Leviticus 13:39 of a faint or pale colour in the instruction given to the priests over deciding whether a leprous spot has been cleansed or not.

So “spirit of heaviness” is when you are off-colour, your vision is dimmed, your outlook dark and your flame is low.  But God gives us the garment of praise.  Praise is so powerful.  It not only honours God but it silences the enemy.  When you choose to magnify the Lord your immediately minimise the lies of the enemy.  No wonder then that David declared:

I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

Through worship you are reminded that God is bigger than the situation you face.  So no matter where you find yourself today, put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.  Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Fill your day with praise.  Wrap yourself up in it.

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