Words of Hope: The Healing Power of Praise 

I read recently that gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. It counteracts against the four most toxic emotions: envy, bitterness, regret, and depression. I think about my dad and his deep struggle with depression at times in his life. He believed that stress led to depression and depression opened a gateway for cancer in his life.  

It’s hard to know if that is why he contracted cancer. It’s tough because this causality thinking led to regret for my dad and regret is considered a highly toxic emotion. Regret is a stronger emotion than gratitude and requires work and intentionality to overcome. 

It’s amazing how the Bible has an antidote for regret. It is repentance, forgiveness, and baptism. It is rebirth and especially rejoicing. I am attracted to regret when I am feeling down. In this new season of empty nesting, I can walk the imaginary road of regret, wanting more time with my daughters, wishing I would have slowed down more and been more present. My husband Shann is more pragmatic. He sees regret as self-embedded thinking and too much over analyzing of what we should or should not have done. He invites me to rejoice, to count my blessings, to start thanking God for the girls. It’s an immediate game changer, this gift of gratitude.  

“Praise the Lord, my soul.” This reminder not only lifts me out of regret, but it brings me joy and inner healing. Psalm 103 tells us to remember the benefits of the Lord. He forgives sins, heals diseases, redeems my life from the pit, crowns my life with love and compassion, satisfies my life with good things. Wow! What an incredible list. With my mind on this list, my heart is light. Praising the Lord heals us. 

Praise the Lord, my soul; 
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 
Praise the Lord, my soul, 
    and forget not all his benefits— 
who forgives all your sins 
    and heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit 
    and crowns you with love and compassion, 
who satisfies your desires with good things 
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. – Psalm 103: 1-5