Last week, we addressed the triumphant truth that God wants to clothe us with glorious garments of freedom. He wants us to be covered and clad in the garment of salvation, the garment of righteousness, the garment of praise, and the garment of joy (Isaiah 61:1-11). He wants us to take off sin and sadness—hurt and heaviness—and put on righteousness and rejoicing in Christ Jesus.
This week, we want to pay particular attention to putting on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It is time for us to fully realize that the dress of discouragement and depression is not appropriate attire for the people of God. It doesn’t fit and isn’t fitting for a people redeemed, reconciled and restored to God by His grace through the saving work of His Son, Jesus. We should be the most positive, powerful and joy-filled people on the earth. We are those who have been bought back by the price of Christ’s cross and brought back into sonship, fellowship and friendship with the Father. It’s only fitting that we would put on praise and experience its power.
The word “heaviness” in Hebrew means, “feeble, dark, dull, dim, weak and weighty”. Jesus came to take the darkness and the dullness and the weakness and weight of hopelessness off of people and, in its place, to put on the garment of praise—providing a positive perspective for everyone who has been redeemed from sin’s penalty and released from sin’s power. We have every reason to put off the heaviness of hopelessness and put on praise; let’s do it!
Jesus offers us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, but it is up to us to put off one and put on the other. And if we will, we will not only give God the glory due His Name, we will strengthen and encourage ourselves as well as others around us. When we cast off heaviness and put on hope, we clothe ourselves in the clarity and confidence that propels others and us toward the prophetic purposes of God for all of our lives.
We must go to God in the secret place engaging in the ministry of prayer and praise, coming to God in great praise that produces great faith for great things to be done in Jesus’ Name. Then we must come to the gathering place full of faith and gratitude, ready to join with our spiritual family in lifting up high praise for who God is and for all the wonderful things He has done. Then we move out and in to the public place and the market place giving glad and grand witness to a waiting world that our God is great and that our God is good. Again, it is time to “change clothes! Let’s take off the ill-fitting garment of hurt and heaviness, and put on the fitting garment of healing and hope.
Remember: God wants us no longer to be dressed in discouragement and depression, but to put on the robes of righteousness and rejoicing in Christ Jesus.