I am 32 years old and was recently diagnosed with diabetes on top of having another chronic condition. I am very frustrated, and I feel like I have always had a gracious spirit and have been patient to discover the Lord’s plans for my life despite the challenges of chronic illnesses. But lately I am more discouraged than ever and if one more person tells me that I should be thankful that it’s not worse, I am going to scream. Any advice? –Jackie
Hi Jackie. I know what it’s like to live with chronic illness. I’ve struggled for several years with an autoimmune form of arthritis that keeps me in a lot of pain. Mornings are the hardest, so I’ve tried to remember to start each day by reading my Bible and praising God. There are days when I have to limp my way to the kitchen table to read my devotional and my Bible.
Maybe you can relate! Hard as it might be, (and trust me, I know it’s tough), you really can praise your way through the storms of life.
I’m reminded of the story of Jehosophat, in the Old Testament. When Israel was at war against a mighty enemy, Jehosophat and the other Levites (worshipers) were sent to the front lines of the battle. Why? They led the Israelite warriors toward the enemy with praise on their lips and instruments blaring! And guess what? The battle was won.
I sincerely believe that message is for us, today. Our battles are won in praise.
Sound impossible? That’s exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to believe. He wants you think it’s impossible to thank or praise God in all situations.
But it’s not.
The strength to praise comes from the inward man, not the outward man. In other words, even if you were lying in a bed completely incapacitated, your inward man could still celebrate. Sure, it’s hard. But making a conscious effort to praise (and giving yourself reminders to do so) will strengthen you from the inside out. There’s a great worship song we sing at my church.
The words “From the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out to you” ring true in my ears. When I don’t have the strength on the outside, I must depend on the Spirit’s work from the inside-out. My prayer is that you will discover the joy of inward praise, particularly when the outward circumstances dictate otherwise.
By doing so, you will take huge steps toward an emotional and spiritual victory.
Janice Hanna Thompson is the Christian author of over fifty books for the Christian market. She is an empty nest mom who lives with two naughty dachshunds. (Truthfully, the dogs are harder to raise than the kids were.) Janice battles psoriatic arthritis and also uses a CPAP for sleep apnea. In spite of her struggles, she chooses to praise the Lord “in the storm” and hopes to encourage others along the way with her writings. Be sure to visit her website for a wide-variety of books!