More than a Hallelujah

When I was younger, I couldn’t have imagined the hardships I would face in the future. Each time it felt like my world had come crashing down. Faced with those mountains, I couldn’t picture life ever being normal again.

Through the death of a child, I gained the hope of heaven, knowing that one day I will see him again. 

Walking through a divorce, I began to understand the pain that plagues people around the world.

Loneliness has taught me the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude. 

Heartache after heartache brought me to a point when I thought I could go no further. Life was just too much for me. One day, I sank to the floor in a flood of tears. The only thing I could hear was the one word, “Hallelujah”. So I spoke it in a feeble voice. Then, again and again, it came out of my wounded soul, strengthening each time I said it. Soon, a huge smile replaced my tears. The one word became, at the same time, my battle cry and a song of praise. I stood up, strengthened, and knew that I had learned a powerful lesson: God does give a spirit of praise to replace the spirit of heaviness (Is 61:3)

Hallelujah” is a powerful word. Dictionary definitions give its meaning as “God be praised”, “praise the Lord”, and as an expression of worship or rejoicing.

I remember what it’s like to be in those sad, lonely, hurting, and unhealthy places where saying the word, Hallelujah, was all I felt I had to offer back to God, but He is good and faithful and turns beauty to ashes. He’s out here making good out of the bad things in our lives. He is answering prayers, showering us with favor, and bringing dead dreams back to life and into fruition. 

Because this is who God is, in most seasons of our lives, we have more than a Hallelujah to give in return. So what do we have that’s fit for a King? We can: 

  • Live a life of obedience to God.
    • Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22.
    • If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.
  • Live a life full of the purpose He created us for.
    • For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
  • Walk in the Spirit and bear His fruit.
    • The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23.
  • Steadfastly grow in spiritual maturity.
    • Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity Ephesians 6:1.
  • Leave conformity with the world behind.
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
  • Love God with all our heart, soul, minds, and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
    • And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22: 37-40.

All these things bring honor and praise to God and shower Him with our worship. They go beyond the words of our mouths and the raising of our hands. They take our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths and make them an offering of worship and praise. In these ways, we express our love and gratitude for who God is, not just in singing but also in the moment-by-moment of our daily lives.

Some genuinely are in a season where all they have to give is a Hallelujah. But, from experience, I know that even there, we can do all the things listed above. The Holy Spirit helps us in our darkest days to continue to experience spiritual growth, live in obedience and purpose, love God and love others, and bear the fruit of His presence in our lives.

The next time we think that Hallelujah is the only thing we have to give that’s fit for the King, let’s ask ourselves, “Is it, though?” We can prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to check how we’re doing in these areas and commit to being more faithful to show our worship with our entire beings.

© Debbie Mendoza May 2023

4 minutes

Read more from Debbie Mendoza here.


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