Garment of Praise

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
—Isaiah 61:1-3

Whatever heaviness you are carrying can be exchanged for a garment of praise. When we come to God honest and transparent with where we are and what we are carrying, he is faithful to take our burdens and give us hope, life, and praise in return. In this week's Sunday message, Pastor Josh Kelsey discusses the origin of praise and how we can encounter a divine exchange today.

  • God is worthy of praise even if we have a spirit of despair, but he isn’t an egomaniac in heaven who expects us to worship in our own might or power.
  • If there isn’t an exchange, then we’ll find ourselves striving for a release of praise or joy in our own might.
  • Jonah 2:7 says, “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord.” What do you do when your soul is fainting within you
  • Every human heart carries heaviness, guilt, shame and despair. Jonah says he remembered God, so where does a revelation of God come from?
  • According to Isaiah 61, God offers us an exchange of beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for despair.
  • When the people of God grieved, they would put on a thick, heavy garment often made of goat’s hair. It was a sign to community of mourning or loss. This is what we look like in the spirit, carrying a heaviness on us.
  • In 2 Samuel 13, the king’s daughter Tamar was given a valuable, beautiful garment. It represented innocence and purity.
  • Who you are, the revelation and joy you carry, should mark you as a child of God.
  • Tamar had her innocence and purity robbed from her, so she rips her garment and puts ashes on her head as a sign of grief.
  • In Genesis 37, Joseph receives a robe of many colors, a mark of his father’s favor.
  • For both Tamar and Joseph, the garment is a gift from the father.
  • Where does the spirit of lightness and joy come from? The heavenly Father sees you and puts value on you.
  • It’s the praise of the Father first towards us that reveals where true praise comes from.
  • C.S. Lewis says, “The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
  • God is not glorified by your heaviness or guilt. King David would’ve been so heartbroken to see his daughter Tamar ripping the garment he’d gifted her.
  • The Father does not desire a people who rip off their joy, confidence and courage—who are not living in the fullness of their imago dei, or image of God.
  • God’s not glorified for us to stay in the dust. We need to be humble, but with God we need to stay in squalor and lowliness.
  • Praise comes from knowing  you are first loved. God loves you so therefore you can sing.
  • The word for praise is yada, meaning to give thanks or confess.
  • Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
  • The way that you enter into God’s presence is through confession. You can’t do an exchange unless you first acknowledge that you have despair or heaviness.
  • You can’t enjoy God above every other thing if you get your value from something else: comparison, social media, wealth or popularity.
  • So often we are looking for someone or something to give us our value—and that’s where we put our praise. But all of these will ultimately disappoint us.
  • The challenge of the Western church is this: will we be a people of praise or complaint?
  • Colossians 3:12-14 in the Message translation says, “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
  • When you know you’re loved, you live in love.
  • A life of praise is one of being quick to forgive and living in contentment. When you find  yourself storing up bitterness or putting on self-pity, it’s a sign that you’re wearing a garment not from your Father.
  • So often fashion is a way to stand out or hide through outward appearance, but if we were to parade our inward spirit, what would we be wearing?

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