An Advent Devotional from Seacoast Church
December 13

Raising My Hands

My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
Psalm 71:23 (ESV)

I think about last year often. Though I try to remember the bright spots first, if I can be honest, I remember the ugly parts the most. The constant uncertainties were overwhelming. People were in pain. I was in pain. I had many conversations with friends where I shared how achingly weary I felt. Criticism had become my primary language. I was anxious, angry about almost everything and with everyone—including God.

During one of these conversations, a friend gave me some advice. When in painful seasons, do two things:

  1. Make a daily list of what you’re grateful for.
  2. Turn on worship music at home or in your car and sing. Sing in faith, in gratitude, in belief of what God has done and will continue to do.

I listened. Every day, I wrote down what I was grateful for. And I worshipped, raising my hands in both receipt and surrender, praising the Lord for who he is and what he has done in my life. Did it fix everything? No. But can I tell you something, friends? It completely shifted the state of my heart and mind.

In a difficult season of his own, the Psalmist wrote, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you.” God is worthy of all praise—all the time. And when we actively express praise and gratitude, joy not only pours out of that praise, but it changes the way we view our circumstances. There’s no better time to begin practicing this than Christmas—a time when we celebrate the arrival of Jesus. Let’s spend our days rejoicing in the hope we have in him.

Share with friends


  1. Where have you seen the Lord working in your life this year?
  2. How can you encourage others who are in pain during the holiday season?

Share Your Blessing

  1. As a family, take some time to rejoice together. Share some things you are grateful for right now, thank God for his goodness and faithfulness, and watch joy come out of that.
  2. Watch a Morning Encouragement on the Seacoast Church Facebook page, then commit to encouraging as many people as you can today.


Come experience one of our Christmas Eve candlelight services as we remember the birth of Jesus with music, a message, and fun.
See Service Times
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