The writer of Hebrews describes life as a race, and he exhorts, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down” (Heb. 12:1, NLT). Can you imagine trying to run a race while carrying a backpack full of heavy weights? As crazy as that would be, it’s just as crazy trying to run the race of life with spiritual or emotional weights that show you down! One of the biggest weights a person can carry is discouragement, and I’ve been writing lately about how to strip off that weight. I’d like to continue today by sharing one of the best ways I know to stay encouraged, and that is to praise the Lord at all times.

To praise God simply means to express your admiration to God through words and actions that uplift His name. Why should we praise the Lord? Psalm 147:1 explains that praise is good, pleasant, and beautiful. One translation even calls giving praise the “right” thing to do. In Psalm 50:23, the Lord says, “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me” (NKJV). Just knowing that praise glorifies the Lord should be all the motivation we need to uplift His name! Even further though, praise acts as a catalyst to release the power of God on our behalf.

In Second Chronicles chapter 20, an amazing story testifies to the tremendous power of praise. King Jehoshaphat of the nation of Judah received word that enemy armies were coming to attack his nation. Wisely, the king ordered his people to seek the Lord, and as they did so, the Spirit of the Lord answered, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15). The people of Judah responded by praising the Lord “with voices loud and high” (v. 19). The next day, King Jehoshaphat appointed certain men to march in front of his army and simply sing praises to God. “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, and they were defeated” (2 Chron. 20:22).

What an awesome scripture! We can experience the same results in our lives. When Satan comes to attack us, we have no reason to worry or fear. Just as the Lord promised victory to the people of Judah, He has promised us victory in His word. So what should we do when we face attacks? We should praise God! David declared in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” It’s easy to bless the Lord in the good times, but we can’t forget to bless Him in those challenging times either! As we do, God “sets ambushes” against the works of Satan, and we see our victory come to pass.

You may be going through a storm right now, but you don’t have to be discouraged, worried, or afraid. Receive the words God spoke to the people of Judah as His own promise to you today. God says, “The battle is not yours, but Mine.” You don’t have to fight the devil. Just praise the Lord for already making you victorious! I’m convinced that when we praise the Lord, something supernatural takes place in the heavenlies. God releases His power on our behalf, intercepting Satan’s plan of destruction. So, if you need victory, praise the Lord and welcome the power of God to fully operate in your life!