Encouragement for Today
By Rachel Olsen, ETC Editor, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Revelation 19:1, “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” (NIV)
When asked one night at the dinner table if he knew what “hallelujah” means, my four-year-old son replied with a smile, “Yes, it means to go to bed.” While I tried to think how he arrived at this conclusion – perhaps I’d sung him lullabies containing that word – my husband teasingly quipped, “That is because Mommy shouts ‘hallelujah’ every night once you kids are in bed!” We all laughed hysterically.
According to Nave’s Topical Bible, “hallelujah” is “an exclamatory expression of praise or adoration.” It’s kind of like shouting to God: “All Right – Yippee – Way to Go – Hoo Ha – You’re the Best!” You’ll often hear it spoken in the midst of favorable circumstances, like when something desperately hoped for finally comes to pass.
God is just as deserving of our “hallelujahs,” however, in our difficult circumstances – while we are still hoping and waiting on the breakthrough.
A certain musician discovered this during his despairing times. Struggling to afford a small, shabby apartment in London, he often went without food. One evening in 1741, he wandered the city streets all night long, depressed. When he returned to his room he found an envelope on the table from fellow composer Charles Jennens. Examining the pages, he found them covered with words from Scripture.
He crawled into bed to sleep, but dreams would not come. The words on the pages kept returning to his mind:
Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God ... The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light ... For unto us a Child is born ... Glory to God in the highest ... Hallelujah!
He got up and went to his piano where music began to flow out of his fingers. For three weeks straight, he composed feverishly. On the day the work was finished, a friend came to visit. There sat the composer at the piano, sheets of music strewn around him, with tears streaking down his face. "I do believe I have seen all of Heaven before me, and the great God Himself," he exclaimed. The composer was George Frederic Handel and the composition was “Messiah,” featuring the now world-famous “Hallelujah Chorus.”
No one is more deserving of a hallelujah chorus than our Messiah. The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke his disciples for exclaiming, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!" (Luke 19:38-40, NIV). Friends, I pray that the rocks around us never have cause to cry out because we are failing to praise the Lord. In good times and bad, join in with the heavenly hosts shouting “Hallelujah!” to the One to whom salvation, glory and power belong.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, you are truly worthy of all my honor and praise. I praise you for who you are – you are majestic, loving and true! I praise you for what you’ve done – salvation, healing and blessing come from you alone! I praise you for what you will do in the future – the enemy will be eternally destroyed and a New Jerusalem will be established for your people! Hallelujah!!
Simply praise Him today!
Is praise missing from your life beyond Sunday mornings at church?
Do you praise Him during the wait, or only during the breakthrough?
Could praise during the wait be the key to your breakthrough?
What attribute of God do you find the most praise-worthy?
Psalm 106:1-2, Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him half enough? (NLT)
Psalm 135:1-3, Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord! Praise him, you who serve the Lord, you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; celebrate his wonderful name with music. (NLT)
Psalm 146:1:2, Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, I tell myself. I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath. (NLT)
Psalm 147:1-5, Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how right! The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! (NLT)
P31 Woman Magazine
Message of the Month
Originally published Tuesday, 12 April 2005.