by Kathy Lay
Verse of the Week: Isaiah 61:3--"...the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness..."
I had a conversation with a dear friend that went something like this:
Me: And how are you today, Love?
Her: Oh I don’t know. I just feel like I’m in a funk. I can’t get excited about anything and I just feel apathetic.
Me: I’ve been going through a little something like that too. It’s like I’m just going through the motions…
I had another conversation with another dear friend that went something like this:
Me: How’s it going, Babe?
Her: Oh, I just feel funky lately, kind of numb, but like the littlest thing could set me off into tears.
Me: That’s strange. It seems there are several of us going through the same funk.
A third conversation that was strikingly similar confirmed it—does that qualify as an epidemic? Present in each of these conversations was the word “funk.” Definitions of this term (yes, I really looked) include “a depressed state of mind,” “to shrink back from undertaking or facing something,” and a sense of “dread.” Actually, I could check off each of those definitions as a symptom I’m experiencing, and it sounds like a lot of others could too. Girls, we’re being robbed! Our joy has been stolen! How can we get it back?
Praise the Lord that he thinks of everything, even restoring our joy--even when we settle into our funk so deeply that we’re not sure we can or even want to come out. His remedy is simple. Not necessarily easy, mind you, but simple: praise him. Isaiah 61:3 describes God’s promise “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,” and “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;” (NKJV). We just have to choose to be obedient and put it on.
David wrote in Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” The man after God’s own heart didn’t only praise when things were rosy, he continually praised. Even in a funk. We know God doesn’t need us to put on the garment of praise for him, so it must be for our own good. Become undignified before your Lord (2 Samuel 6:22) and let him fill you with his joy. Let your praise be your "disinfunktant."
Father God, we lay our funk at your feet. We want to be effective for you and we need your power to sustain us in that. Accept our praise as a fragrant offering that pleases you and unleashes your oil of joy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Application: Be alone with God and put on your garment of praise. Pick out a praise song you love and belt it out at the top of your lungs.
Hebrews 1:9—“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (NIV)
Psalm 9:2—“I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. (NLT)