Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Password of Praise

Dear friends,

I can't resist sharing another Melody story that Joanna told me.

Mischieveous big sister Lydia, 15, was teasing little Melody by blocking a doorway and telling her she couldn't pass.

Melody confidently looked up at her and defiantly retorted: "M. E. L. O. D. Y!"

Lydia let her go by, of course.  Pluck like that deserves its reward.  Joanna was laughing because Melody thinks she is the center of the universe and that her name itself wields power.

But there is a sense in which MELODY is the password.  It's the password of praise, the exit from the prison of despair.  It worked for Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25-26 -- an earthquake shattered their prison cell when they were singing hymns at midnight!

Matilda Nordtvedt, a missionary and pastor's wife, struggled with depression for years and then fell into six months of deep, completely debilitating depression.  Then one evening, she happened to pick up a copy of Hannah Whitall Smith's classic book The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life.  Three weeks later she was out of the dark tunnel.  She wrote in Living Beyond Depression:

"During my time of acute depression I greeted each dawn with dread.  Worries flooded my mind as soon as I awakened.  How could I make it through another weary day?  What awful thing might happen to me or to the ones I loved in the unknown day that lay before me?  I felt anxious and afraid.

I did not recognize the enemy's voice.  I did not realize that I could put him to flight if I greeted the dawn with a song of trust and praise instead of doubt and worry.  The psalmist says, "Let us greet the dawn with song" (Ps. 57:8, Living Bible).

After I learned this secret, how different my waking moments became!  Before Satan had a chance to plant negative, destructive thoughts in my mind, I began to thank God.  The devil can plant his seed of discouragement anywhere except in a thankful heart.  As my heart sang a song of praise to Him, doubts and fears crept away ato be replaced by faith and joy.  I knew it would be a good day no matter what happened.

Throughout the years, men and women of God have put into words and music the songs of the heart.  What a blessing these hymns and songs of praise have become.  Isaac Watts is called "the father of English hymnody" because he was the first Englishman to introduce hymns of human composure into the church.  Many of our best known hymns are from his pen.  During a crucial battle of the Revolutionary War, a regiment of American soldiers ran out of wadding for their guns.  Rev. James Caldwell, an American preacher, rushed into his church, brought out all the hymnbooks and distributed them among the soldiers.  Tearing out the pages, the desperate men used them as wadding for their guns while the preacher encouraged them by shouting, "Give 'em Watts, boys!  Give 'e Watts!"

Have you ever tried giving your enemy "Watts" or some other hymn of praise?  We may not always sing our song audibly, but if it's there in our hearts, our enemy seeks entrance in vain.  Praise routs him every time!"


Come, weary moms...

Do you feel trapped by discouragement or depression?  Sing a song.  Keep on singing.  Get help from others for your problems if you need it, but try a song.

MELODY opens the way.

Peace and joy to you,
Virginia Knowles

1 comment:

  1. yes it my heart there rings a melody, there rings a melody of Heaven's matter what...His grace is sufficient for me! Love this post.


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