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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

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1 Samuel 1:24-28
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Luke 1:46-56

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"My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior." —Luke 1:46-47

Some years ago, people started saying PTL (Praise the Lord). An even more appropriate suggestion is PTLA (Praise the Lord anyway). Often praise is an act of faith, not sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Because we have faith in the Lord, we praise Him when we don't see His glory — and even when we see nothing but pain and problems. Hannah exulted in the Lord after her baby was born, seeing a happy ending to her life story (1 Sm 2:1). Mary, however, proclaimed the greatness of the Lord in hard times (Lk 1:46ff). Pregnant without a husband, Mary could have lost Joseph, her marriage, her family, and even her life. She seemed to be in an impossible situation. When most people would be complaining, she proclaimed that God had done great things for her (Lk 1:49).

If you're sad, depressed, sick, separated, divorced, or poor this Christmas, PTLA. God doesn't have to prove Himself to us. He already did. We know He has the final word and can turn anything to the good (Rm 8:28). So there's no need to delay. Right now, PTLA. He's worthy to be praised (Rv 5:12).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I praise You under the worst conditions (see Acts 16:25). May I praise my way into Christmas.

Promise:  "I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord." —1 Sm 1:27-28

Praise:  "O King of all the nations, the only Joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature You fashioned from the dust."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Hold Fast to the Faith on audio AV 71-1 or video V-71.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004