[The Lord hath given] the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. —Isaiah 61:3
Jesus Christ came to bring good tidings to a sin-sick world. He brought spiritual healing and deliverance to souls bound for hell. Where there was mourning and sorrow, there is now joy and peace. Where there was a spirit of heaviness and oppression, Jesus offers a garment of praise.
It is a choice people make whether they will maintain a spirit of heaviness in sin or whether they will open their burdened heart and allow Jesus to give them rest and peace. The Lord desires to wrap His children in a garment of praise that will bring glory and honor to the Father.
It is important to remember that salvation does not deliver us from all the pain and heartache of the presence of sin in the world around us. Saved people can still suffer physical, emotional, and temporal problems. In the midst of those problems, the enemy would like to drown God’s children with a spirit of heaviness where hope is lost and darkness remains. Jesus came to comfort those that mourn and to minister to those who are hurting.
When the spirit of heaviness begins to rest on your shoulders, look to the Lord and see His arms outstretched with a garment of praise. In the darkest of night in the middle of pain, the spirit of heaviness can be defeated with the spirit of praise. When things are crumbling around you, you can still praise the Lord for His salvation and love. When you praise Him, the clouds of despair have to roll back.
Praise is not always to the exclusion of tears, but even through the tears that life brings our hearts can still be lifted up in praise because of the presence of Jesus Christ. When you least feel like praising and giving thanks, make a choice to give praise in spite of the storm. Trade in the spirit of heaviness for the wonderful, liberating garment of praise.