The New Living Translation says it like this, "Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again--my Savior and my God!"
Tramaine Hawkins sang a song called, "I Never Lost My Praise" and it's a deep and good song. I was once a member of a choir that had that song on the set list. It says, "I never lost my hope. I never lost my joy. I never lost my faith, but most of all, I never lost my praise." Now may I throw this out there? I feel that if some of us were really honest with ourselves, some of us have lost our hope, joy, faith, and praise and still stand up on Sunday mornings and say, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and his righteousness." to get over with the church goers. I recently heard a preacher say that we have been raised to lie in church. When someone asks how we are doing, we say something like, "I'm blessed and highly favored." or say what I say, "I'm good."
When we come to church honest and desperate, I believe that's when true work can be done. One Wednesday night, it was after a long week. I was heading to Bible Study, but I almost did a U-Turn because I was so depressed. To be honest I was ready to accept driving off road. Not going to go into detail, but let's just say, I messed up things like on a major level. So I was already beating myself up about that, but I pushed my way to church. Where I'd usually show up on time for prayer which goes on at 6:30, but I showed up right at 7 because again I was contemplating on whether even going to church that night or not. Come to find out, going to church that night was the best decision I could've made. I left that night feeling refreshed and healed. That night I really felt that the church was indeed a hospital. At least for that night, I found my praise again.
I used to loathe hearing people with the microphone say, "Y'all ain't praising!" My response would be, "How can you judge how someone praises God?" How can you praise something you have no faith in? I believe the level of your praise shows the level of your faith. If your hope is not where it needs to be, and you forget who God is and what God has done for you, of course your praise is not going to be where it needs to be. When the preacher says, "Give God a praise." and you give God a patty cake clap or you give God a monotone "Hallelujah." Expecting that to be enough. I'm reminded of a song that I heard growing up that said, "You oughta be happy, you oughta be happy, you oughta be happy just to praise the Lord." The Bible talks about the saints being the bride of Christ, right? I'm not married, nor have I ever been in a relationship, but from the outside looking in, I can tell if a wife really loves the husband. I can tell when a girlfriend really loves her boyfriend. Am I allowed to say that your praise level may show your love for Jesus?
I dare you to find your praise again. I dare you to hope in God again. I dare you to forget about yourself and concentrate on Him and worship Him. One song says, "My Praise is my weapon." A weapon only works if you use it.