Leading the Way Unable to hold back

Leading The Way's My Devotional

Unable to Hold Back

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

The Scriptures tell us that our lips reveal whatever we treasure in our hearts. Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," and "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Matthew 6:21, 12:34). Ultimately, we cannot separate what we say and do from what we think and believe deep inside.

If we truly believe in God's love and goodness, that belief will spill over into what we say about Him. No matter what our circumstances, we won't be able to hold back our praise. Do we truly believe that God is the almighty King of the universe and the Lord of our lives? The strength and fervor, the depth and energy of our praise to God—both with our lips and in our lives—is directly proportional to our belief in God's goodness and greatness.

Believing and praising build on each other. The more deeply and strongly we believe, the greater and more expansive is our praise. The more we praise the Lord, the more we will behold His glory and see His hand continually at work in our lives, and the more fervently and strongly we will believe.

Never is this Truth put to the test as it is when a dear loved one is in danger. Such a time came when my wife was diagnosed with cancer. It so happened that another person very close to me was gravely ill at the same time. To see two people I loved dearly facing the unknown, possibly even the threat of death itself, tested my beliefs about God. Was He really a God of love, of healing, and of faithfulness? Or was He unconcerned about my family's health and safety?

For most of my life, I had believed the former: That God, in His faithfulness, loves us and cares for us and brings healing. So I started praising Him in advance for His care, His comfort, and His power to heal. In praising Him, I grew to sense in my soul that God truly is who He says He is. God really is the loving Father who comforts us in our time of deepest desperation, fear, and helplessness. Before I knew the final outcome of these threats to my family members' health, I knew without question that God loves us without limit and that He heals us by His power. My life changed from the obedience of duty to the joyful, visceral obedience that expresses itself in uninhibited praise to our loving and all-powerful Lord.

Prayer: My Savior Jesus, I praise You as the pioneer and perfecter of my faith. I do believe because You have helped me to overcome my unbelief (Mark 9:24). May my belief in Your goodness give me a heart of constant worship. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid" (Psalm 56:4).

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