Monday, November 15, 2010

40 Days of Praise

Our church has been doing 40 Days of Praise leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and it has been wonderful to hear the praises of God's people and see some of the wonderful results of putting a priority on praising the Lord. Each week we have had different people share their testimonies of how God is at work in their lives. The result has been that others are becoming more encouraged to share their testimonies and praises.

For me personally, this has been one of the best Fall seasons I can remember. Typically the time leading up to Thanksgiving is stressful - lots of church activities, lots of sickness in the church, and trying to get all of the family stuff done in preparation of the holiday. This year has been different because I'm more focused on the Lord. I've made praising Him a priority in my life and the result has been a wonderful peace in my heart. There are still a lot of church activities, there is still a lot of people sick, and there is plenty of family stuff to get done, but this year there is no stress, just peace and joy. God is good like that!

This week in our 40 Days of Praise devotionals we are focusing on the names of God in the Old Testament. The Hebrew people often named places or gave God characteristic names after some significant event. These refer to God's acts or His character. Today we praise Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our Healer. In Exodus 15, after crossing the Red Sea, the Hebrews came to a place called Marah where they found water that was bitter. Unable to drink the water, the people whined to Moses who cried out to God, who showed Moses a tree that he could put in the water and it would take away the bitterness. At Marah, God made a covenant that if they obeyed His voice, they would not suffer the diseases that had plagued the Egyptians, for He Himself would heal them. He is Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord who heals.