By Oluwakemi Eunice Alofe
One of my favourite songs is Marvin Sapp's “Praising Him in advance”. In it he made a statement we can all relate with. He said, “I’ve had my share of ups and downs” who hasn’t? When aren’t we going through something big or small? The world appears like it's designed to frustrate our efforts. But from this song, I’ve learned two important lessons and they are:
- Praise will confuse the enemy
- People around may laugh and wonder why you are praising through a situation because what they know is the problem and pain you’re going through. But what determines your response is what you know. What do you know? Marvin sang that he knew that God would take the problems and pain away and that was why he could praise.
Praise is the lesson I’m emphasising because it’s a virtue I’m still learning myself. Praise not because you’re not going through problems, praise not because you’re not in pain. Praise not because you’re not sad. Praise not because you’re not confused. Praise because God requires it. If you had a stressful weekend won’t you go to work on Monday? You would because it is a requirement. Praise because there is a blessing attached to those who rejoice in the name, not in the circumstances. Praise because praise is a weapon. Praise will confuse and has been confusing the enemy. Praise has been God’s battle strategy in wars in the Old Testament and do you know what happened when the army of Israel praised God? The opposition started fighting and killing themselves! Who goes to war with tambourines instead of swords? It isn’t logical but if God said it I believe it. If God did that before, He will do it again.
This October I lost my grandmother. I had given up and was in a dark tunnel. She had been a little ill. A lot actually because she had a tumour. She couldn’t eat or move about much at a point, I had to wear her diapers, she was uncomfortable, her back and stomach hurt a lot at times all she did was sleep. Sometimes the pain was so much that she couldn’t sleep. Her oxygen level was always precariously low. But through that pain, my grandma was always talking to God. Always praising, always trusting. She couldn’t move much but it didn’t stop her praising and God gave her as good a deal with sleep as one can get today.
Praise will win. Don’t focus on the problem or the pain. Focus on the victory. Because of my grandma, I know now and forever that the ability to exercise great faith is not reserved for people of old. It can be exercised by us in this generation and I have seen it up close and personal. My grandma is sleeping in the Lord but her faith and praise have given me a lasting lesson. Praise through the pain and confusion praise before the solution comes.
Children of God can praise as if nothing is wrong because they walk by faith and not by sight. I wouldn’t say it’s not easy. God asked us to do it. He asked us to be perfect as our Father in heaven. So we can praise through, we can praise God and be happy for the chances He has given. We can praise in advance.
About the author
My name is Oluwakemi Alofe and I am a 22-year-old lawyer, fashion designer and author living in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. I love talking and teaching about the Jesus experience, and the law as it relates to different people. I’m passionate about bringing people to experience God's great, reckless love and true friendships.I can be reached via my email address firstname.lastname@example.org.