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An acquaintance of mine was in Europe conducting ministry, when he got a phone call that no one wants to get. His wife had been tragically killed in a car accident.
He was devastated.

When he received the news, it seemed like something very dark took ahold of his life and started pulling him down. The oppression that came over his mind was so dark that he could no longer function. His world had come crashing down.

Sometime after, a friend of his went to visit him, and encouraged him from the Word. He shared Isaiah 61:1-3, which says…

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me…
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

My acquaintance had preached about the “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” numerous times over the years. In fact, that was his life’s message. But it was the last thing he wanted to hear as he struggled under that dark cloud of oppression.

Even though he felt forsaken and his arms felt so heavy he could barely lift them, he mechanically (at first) began to sing and offer praise to God. He paced the room and he sang to God. Five minutes turned into 10 minutes, which turned into 15 minutes. And at about the 20-minute mark, something from heaven hit him.

His darkness was dispelled. The invisible, yet very real chains that bound him were broken. And he was able to go on with his life. He has had decades of fruitful ministry and life since those dark days.

I don’t know if he’s ever gotten all the answers—but he found hope because he was willing to listen to God’s Word.

If you’re in a dry place today, like this man was, remember that the number one thing you need to do is listen to God and be obedient to His Word. He will whisper to your heart by His Spirit and through His Word—and as you act, He will begin to restore your joy!

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