• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Heaviness To Hope And Hallelujahs

When I left church, I told Mike, “as Granny would say after a good Sunday morning, “I wish all my people could have heard that!” When you see and feel the Holy Spirit, so powerful, you cannot contain it and you feel you have to share. I think we can all agree that these past few weeks have been very heavy. When things are heavy it feels like we are being physically pulled down. Thankfully, we can “trade our sorrows for the joy of the Lord!”

The first song we sang was, “How Great Is Our God/How Great Thou Art” medley, which blends the contemporary praise and worship song with my favorite classic hymn. We started out singing, “How great is our God, sing with me…” We sang my favorite verse, “When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!” By the time we got back to singing, “How great, how great is our God” I stopped and listened to all of the voices. People were praising that powerful final refrain! I already felt like I had been to church after the first song! Before we sang, “Raise A Hallelujah” by Bethel Music, we were told to remember that our weapon is a melody. God fights for us and we can thank Him in the middle of the storm. It felt like we were on the battlefield fighting a spiritual war and I believe everyone in that gym was singing as loud as they could. I was and I try not to do that! I stopped singing, again, and listened and it was truly the loudest I have ever heard in that gym! “I raise a Hallelujah In the presence of my enemies...I raise a Hallelujah. My weapon is a melody. I raise a Hallelujah. Heaven comes to fight for me. I'm gonna sing In the middle of the storm Louder and louder. You're gonna hear my praises roar Up from the ashes, hope will arise. Death is defeated, the King is alive! I raise a Hallelujah With everything inside of me. I raise a Hallelujah I will watch the darkness flee.” There was a spiritual battle going on in that gym - we were in the Lord’s army! We sang louder and louder and hope was taking over my heaviness and turning into hallelujah, the darkness was fleeing! I may have been pulled down this week but I was lifted up Sunday - raised right up to a Hallelujah!

Thinking about the world right now and remembering my pastor saying if we need joy we can start singing. The left side of our brain opens up emotions and the right side helps with critical thinking - helps us hear the Word. So not only was I singing these words, I was feeling the emotions and hearing God speak! With every word I sang I was feeling more and more hope. Heaven does come to fight for us. What do we have to be afraid of? Romans 8: 31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” He never leaves us. Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” As I always say, it is in the hard times that we are closest with God. He tells us we will be okay and He is all we need.

Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” God is our hiding place. Psalm 32: 7, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” David sat in a cave praying as his enemies passed by. He was refusing fear and praising instead. That is what happened Sunday morning and it worked! Fear has no place in a believer’s heart but I have to constantly ask God to increase my trust and faith. When I look back on His faithfulness I see how powerful He is! Psalm 30: 8, 11, “To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:...You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy!” He turned my heaviness to hope and hallelujahs! How Great is our God!

Are you raising hallelujah's?


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