God Will Turn Your Shame Into Praise

When a king sends a messenger with a message, it doesn't matter what clothes the messenger is wearing. It doesn't even matter what the character of the messenger is, as long as the message is delivered................

June 9, 2024

When a king sends a messenger with a message, it doesn’t matter what clothes the messenger is wearing. It doesn’t even matter what the character of the messenger is, as long as the message is delivered. The power lies in the message itself.

Before I begin, I want to release this over your life: When you declare God’s word, it does not matter the condition of the messenger. What matters is the power of the word, and that word is powerful enough to change your life. For instance, when you confess something like 2 Corinthians 5:21—saying you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus—you might feel like the biggest sinner inside. This does not make you a hypocrite. Even if, 30 seconds ago, you committed the biggest sin, and you still confess that you’re the righteousness of God, it does not make you a hypocrite because it is not your message; it is His message.

So, when it is His message, and you declare it, regardless of your struggles, that message has the power to fulfill what it carries. For example, people might say, “How can he preach on peace when he’s such an angry person?” Remember, the message is not about the messenger; he is just a vessel delivering the king’s message.

The next time the devil tells you that you are a hypocrite, tell him to be silent, because this message is not yours—it belongs to the King, and what He says is true. Do not entertain the enemy. The enemy’s tactics are clear: he will send fear, shame, and intimidation.

So don’t entertain the enemy. Every time you experience fear, shame, or intimidation, remember that it is not from God. God does not shame His children. No good father would put his children in the spotlight to embarrass them.

When I was growing up, there was a gospel tract I read when I was very young, probably less than 10 years old. It depicted, through cartoons, that after you die, an angel comes and takes your spirit to heaven. The first thing the angel would do is show you all the things you’ve done on a big TV screen, as if you don’t already know. But it didn’t stop there—the angel supposedly shows this to everyone in heaven. This would be the “entertainment” in heaven, watching everyone’s sins on display.

But this is not the heavenly Father the Bible portrays. Jesus talks about a Father who is good, who would not humiliate or embarrass you. He does not use shame as a motivator to draw you into spirituality. Many people come to church because they are ashamed of what others might think. While it’s important to come to church, shame should not be the motivation. Shame is never a good motivator.

Shame has no place in your life. When the devil tries to embarrass you, tell him to be quiet. I’ve led worship in church and forgotten the lyrics many times, feeling embarrassed and humiliated. Once, during a large gathering, I forgot the lyrics and said, “Oh man, I forgot the lyrics” out loud. I was so embarrassed, but it turned out to be one of the most powerful worship times.

You need to move beyond shame. During worship, many people try to remain polished and composed. But true worship involves expressing your heart fully. When the spirit of the Lord moves in your heart, you should dance like David danced—not stiff like a stick. Let go of the shame and embrace the freedom to worship God fully and authentically.

At least act according to the words you’re singing. The Bible says that when David danced, he danced so wildly that his clothes started coming off. He didn’t even notice. The Bible calls us to “be holy as I am holy,” and in front of the Father, we are all children. Regardless of your age, status, whether you’re a CEO or have a PhD, in front of the Father, we are children.

When we become childlike—not childish but childlike—and leave behind the things that puff us up, we will experience the immense presence of God in our lives at all times. So, when you are in the presence of God, don’t worry about what people think. Don’t let shame rob you of the inheritance you have in the Father. Yes, don’t let shame rob your inheritance. Let me emphasize that: don’t let shame rob your inheritance.

Do you know that the devil did not steal Adam’s inheritance? The devil cannot steal your inheritance. He cannot take what you don’t give. If you feel like he took your peace, it’s because you gave it away. Every pity party stops today because the devil cannot take what you don’t give.

Colossians 2:15 – He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

The devil has no legally authorized entry into your life because Jesus has disarmed him and nailed any legal claims he had on the cross. However, he can make illegal entries. When he does, you have the right to deny him. Don’t let shame rob your inheritance because the devil cannot take what you won’t give.

Genesis 3:7 – Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

When their eyes were opened, they felt ashamed and tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. Shame made them do something that didn’t make sense—fig leaves are not practical clothing. Shame clouds judgment.

Genesis 3:8 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool[a] of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Shame caused them to hide from God. That’s what shame does: it makes you hide from God and act irrationally.

Shame will disconnect you from the people who are closest to you. Every evening, the Lord God came to have fellowship with Adam and his wife. But now, because they were ashamed of their nakedness, they avoided that connection. Shame became greater than their desire for connection. Shame stops the flow of connection in your life. It doesn’t just hinder your relationship with God; it also affects your relationships with those closest to you.

Shame is powerful. It can limit you and cripple you. I am painting this picture of shame so that you will not entertain it another day in your life. When Adam and Eve sinned, they stayed away from God. I used to think that when you sin, you cannot come to God, but that is a lie. When they sinned, God came to them. Sin does not separate God from you; sin separates you from God. There’s a difference. Sin will tell you, “How can you go before that perfect, good Father?” Sin will embarrass you, humiliate you, and make you feel ashamed. But regardless of your nakedness, you should go to the Father.

Think of a baby coming out of the womb—it’s not waiting to be dressed; it’s waiting to be embraced. When the younger son in the parable of the prodigal son came back, he was first embraced by the father, kissed by the father, and then dressed. Are you getting this? Regardless of your shameful, embarrassing, humiliating state, never be disconnected. Choose embrace over dressing. It’s in the embracing that you will be dressed. The Father will say, “Bring the best robe.” The Father will grow you. So regardless of your shameful state of vulnerability and nakedness, come to the Father. Let Him embrace you today. Nothing should disqualify you from coming to the Father. There is no sin in the world that you can do which triumphs over the love of the Father. Choose embrace over being dressed.

Genesis 3:8 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:9 – But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

Despite their sin and shame, God sought them out. God is always seeking to restore the connection, to bring you back into His embrace. So, don’t let shame rob you of your inheritance. Come to the Father, and let Him embrace you today.

This is the same Father that Jesus talks about in Luke 15, where the father is looking from far away, waiting for his son to return. The Lord is always seeking you, calling out, “Where are you? Where are you?” We often think that we are the ones seeking God, asking, “God, where are you?” But do you know that your Father is seeking you and asking, “Where are you?” Because He did not run away from you. We ran away from Him because shame stops us from approaching Him.

Genesis 3:10 – And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

Even in our sinful state, we can hear God. You don’t have to be perfect to hear God. Adam said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid.” Why was he afraid? Because shame breeds fear.

Today, I declare over your life Zephaniah 3:19, which says that the Lord will turn your shame into praise. May your shame be turned into praise. Whatever the devil is using to shame you, humiliate you, and embarrass you will become the testimony of your praise.

Adam says, “I was afraid.” Shame has power until you speak it. The moment Adam started speaking, he began to get out of shame. Shame can only exert its power over you while you try to hide it. The moment you speak it, shame loses its power over you.

Consider Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. She came to draw water in the afternoon, a time when nobody else would be there. Everyone else went in the morning or evening. She was avoiding people because of her shame. But when she encountered Jesus, He spoke to her, revealing her life and her sins, and she spoke back. In speaking, she began to overcome her shame. She left her water jar and went back to the town, telling the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” Her shame turned into a testimony.

So, regardless of your shameful, embarrassing, humiliating state, never be disconnected from God. Choose to embrace Him over hiding. It is in the embracing that you will be dressed. The Father will say, “Bring the best robe.” The Father will grow you. Regardless of your shameful state of vulnerability and nakedness, come to the Father. Let Him embrace you today. Nothing should disqualify you from coming to the Father. There is no sin in the world that can triumph over the love of the Father. Choose embrace over hiding.

The Samaritan woman was deeply ashamed of herself. She had a painful history in the town, where people called her names and treated her as an outcast. To avoid this, she went to draw water in the heat of the day when no one else would be there. But it was there, in her most humiliating moment, that she met Jesus.

Jesus did not sugarcoat His words. He told her plainly, “You have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” This might seem harsh, but Jesus had a purpose. Only Jesus can humble you without humiliating you. He revealed her sins because shame has power only when it is hidden. The moment you speak out, shame loses its power.

By speaking about her past, Jesus was helping the Samaritan woman to be free from shame. Her posture changed immediately. She recognized Him as a prophet and didn’t feel ashamed anymore. She didn’t run away; instead, she went back to the town and shared her experience. Her message wasn’t about eternal life or heaven; it was about her personal encounter with Jesus: “He told me everything I ever did.”

This message, surprisingly, brought an entire town to Jesus. Her testimony about her past, which was once a source of shame, became a powerful tool for evangelism. Isn’t that incredible? Because shame only has power over you as long as you don’t speak it. The moment you speak, shame loses its grip.

1 John 1:5-9 – This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Walking in the light means being honest about our sins and weaknesses. It doesn’t mean living a perfect, sinless life. If walking in the light meant being perfect, why would we need the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from sin? The blood of Jesus cleanses those who are walking in the light, which means those who are open and honest about their struggles and sins.

So, walking in the light is about living transparently before God and others. It’s about confessing our sins and letting Jesus cleanse us. This is the freedom that the Samaritan woman experienced. Her willingness to speak out about her past, and her encounter with Jesus, turned her shame into a powerful testimony.

Shame can only hold power over you when it remains hidden. But once you bring it to the light, it loses its power. Choose to walk in the light, confessing your sins and weaknesses, and allow Jesus to cleanse you and transform your shame into praise.

Walking in the light means living an exposed life. Just like cockroaches hide in the shadows and scatter when the light is turned on, shame thrives in darkness. The moment you turn on the light, shame has no place in your life. So, walking in the light is about living openly and honestly.

When you live an exposed life, you might suddenly notice all the flaws and spots in your otherwise pristine life. But that’s where the blood of Jesus comes in to cleanse you from all sin. This is why confession is so important. If you’re struggling with a habitual sin, expose it—not from a defeated place, but from a place of righteousness in Christ Jesus. Confess it knowing that the blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin.

You don’t need to hide in the shadows or live in darkness. When the devil tries to bring shame into your life, turn it into praise. He might taunt you, saying, “How can you call yourself a Christian and still struggle with this?” But use God’s word to turn that shame into praise. God’s word doesn’t humiliate or embarrass you; it brings deliverance.

From today, every story of shame in your life can become a testimony. Live an exposed life because you know you have a good Father. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mess; in the embrace of the Father, all sins will be cleansed.

Consider Abraham and Sarah. They were old and childless, but God promised them a child. Naturally, it seemed impossible. But if you’re not believing for the impossible, you’re not truly believing in God. Anybody can believe the possible. It’s the impossible that tests and grows our faith.

1 John 1:5-9 – This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Walking in the light means being transparent about our sins and struggles. It’s not about being perfect. The blood of Jesus cleanses those who are open and honest. So, live an exposed life, turn shame into praise, and embrace the cleansing power of Jesus.

Genesis 18:10 – The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.

This isn’t the first time God has promised a child, but this time it’s a serious confirmation. The Lord is saying, “Next year, at this same time, you will have a child.”

The context given in the next verse is crucial.

Genesis 18:11-13 – Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’

It says that Abraham and Sarah were old and advanced in years; Sarah’s menstrual cycle had ceased. Biologically, Sarah couldn’t conceive because she was beyond childbearing age.

When Sarah hears the Lord’s promise, she laughs to herself. This laughter is internal, not external. She thinks, “After I’m worn out and my Lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” She’s questioning the possibility of experiencing the joy of conceiving a child at her age. Sometimes laughter is a defense mechanism for embarrassment. People often laugh to hide their shame.

The Lord, hearing Sarah’s internal laughter, asks Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child now that I am old?'” The Lord isn’t revealing her shame to humiliate her but to show that shame only has power when it’s hidden. The moment you speak out, shame loses its power.

God then reiterates His promise

Genesis 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

We often don’t press on when we receive a promise from the Lord because of doubt and fear, just like Sarah. But God is encouraging us to believe in the impossible. His promises are not bound by our circumstances or limitations.

Because the current reality contrasts so starkly with the promised reality, you might feel embarrassed even to mention it. I can believe this for myself, but I won’t speak it out. I won’t tell anybody about this promise. If it fails, only I will know. Why should I tell a few people that I’ve received this promise from the Lord? If it doesn’t happen, I’ll be embarrassed. Isn’t that true? And that’s why we don’t testify.

But I’m telling you, even if you see a glimpse of a praise report, you should testify. So what if the opportunity doesn’t turn out as expected? At least you had joy when you received the good news. Isn’t that worth enough?
I heard a testimony yesterday about someone who joined a company and got a promotion within four months. It doesn’t make sense, and I’ve been challenged to believe for the impossible. You know, if you believe a little bit more, God is not strained. The lights in heaven do not go off because of your belief. Believe in God for the impossible.

In Genesis, the Lord says to Sarah, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” We know that nothing is too hard for Him. But we do not testify of the promises we have received because we are embarrassed by the possibility of failure. What happens if I fail? Remember, the message is not your message; it is the message of the King. The word has to perform. The word will not fail. You may fail in trusting the word, but the word itself will not fail.

Often, the devil brings shame to steal that promise from your life. Five years might pass, and you find yourself praying about the same matter again. The same promise comes to you again, and you ask the Lord, “Lord, it did not work last time.” But God says, “My word that is sent out will perform its task.” He does not need to give you a new promise. That same promise will work. If He has given you the word, He will ensure it performs what it is supposed to do. Don’t let shame rob you of God’s inheritance.

Genesis 21:1– Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.

The God we serve is a God of integrity; He will do what He has said. He will do what He has promised. So the Lord visited Sarah, as He had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as He had promised.

Genesis 21:2-6 – Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

You know, the first time she laughed out of disbelief and shame. Now, this has turned into her testimony. The Lord will turn your shame into praise. Don’t let shame rob you another second of the inheritance that you have in the Lord. Be confident in the Lord.

Hebrews 12:2 – fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

See, the images we see of Jesus on the cross often show Him covered, but that’s not true. When He was on the cross, He was stripped naked. For a Jew, such a scene is shameful. For the Greeks, it’s not, because they had pagan gods who were naked. But for Jesus, the true God, it was embarrassing to be exposed in this way. Jesus did feel shame. What did He do with that shame? He despised it. He looked down on that thought. He felt shame but did not value it. He endured the cross for the joy set before Him.

So what if you have shame in your life? There is a greater joy set before you. My friends, you have two choices: shame or joy. What will you pick? It takes a lot of strength to look beyond the shame and see the joy. Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, for the joy set before Him. Isn’t that amazing? That’s the example we have.

Any shame you have in your life—whether it’s your past, your present, a sexual issue, a sickness, an emotional struggle, depression, anything—remember this: When you are on a ship, it doesn’t matter how deep the water is. You have been saved in Jesus. Don’t let the devil condemn you and disqualify you by showing you the depth of your shame. Turn that into praise. Whatever he throws at you as a disqualification, turn that into praise. He body shames you—turn that into praise. He shames you about your future—turn that into praise. He shames you about your past—turn that into praise.

I prophesy into your life, just as Sarah said, “My laughter has turned from shame into praise.” Don’t let shame rob you of your inheritance.
I’ll tell you quickly about three things that shame does. First, shame disconnects you from your Father. When you’re disconnected from Him, you think you cannot return until you are properly dressed. You might wonder, “How can I come to Him when I’m naked, when I’m unworthy?” You might feel like you’re covered in filth. But choose embrace over being dressed. Because when you choose embrace, you will be dressed.

The problem is, when we are ashamed, we try to cover ourselves with self-righteousness, which does not cover our shame. Instead, it separates us even further from God. And the more we try to cover it, the further away we push ourselves. So, regardless of what you’re ashamed of, don’t let anything disconnect you from the Father.

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is no power in heaven or hell that can separate you from the love of the Father that is in Jesus. Choose His love over your own perfection. Choose His love over your own righteousness. Whatever the devil is using to disqualify you, to shame you, to make you afraid, to intimidate you—those are the very things that qualify you for the love of Jesus.

The first thing shame does is disconnect you from the Father. The second thing it does is bring hopelessness. Shame speaks to you, telling you that you are naked and unworthy. It speaks words of hopelessness into your life, leading you into deeper despair.

The third thing shame does is instill fear. It makes you afraid to approach the Father. You lose all confidence. When you are completely immersed in shame, you are disconnected, hopeless, and fearful.

But remember, Jesus died to take your shame and, in return, give you His glory. He has taken all your shame upon Himself and given you His glory. That’s why you should never entertain being disconnected. No matter what you have done, don’t let it disqualify you from reconnecting with the Father. Run back to Him. Falling down is not the problem; staying down is. If you’ve fallen, get up and be embraced by the Father. Don’t let shame rob you of your inheritance.

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Just like your five physical senses, you have spiritual senses: faith, hope, and love. Shame numbs these spiritual senses, preventing you from returning to the Father.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a decision to stay connected. Hope is what you see when you are connected, and faith is how you take hold of what hope offers. Love is the greatest because without it, you have no hope, and without hope, you have no faith. Your spiritual senses—faith, hope, and love—are crucial, with love being the foundation. Unless you are connected to the Father, you won’t see what He sees. Amen.

Shame numbs your spiritual senses, causing disconnection, which is anti-love; hopelessness, which is anti-hope; and fear, which is anti-faith. When you move from shame to praise, you activate your spiritual senses. You move from disconnection to connection, from hopelessness to hope, and from fear to faith. No good thing can happen as long as you’re ashamed. You might write pity parties or lyrics that sound spiritual, but anything spiritual without an element of faith is not spiritual—it’s demonic. Any philosophy that focuses more on how wretched you are and not on the greatness and goodness of the Father is demonic.

For God to be great, He does not need to be compared with our wretchedness. It’s not because of our wretchedness that He is good. Turn your shame into praise. Because when you turn your shame into praise, you are moving in faith, hope, and love.

This transformation happens when God gives you a promise. The moment God speaks, the devil tries to steal it. When Jesus was baptized, God said, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Immediately, the devil questioned Him, “Are you truly the Son of God? Prove it to me. Why are you hungry?” The devil attacks us in our most vulnerable, weak state to embarrass us and make us feel ashamed. He’ll ask, “How long have you been believing in this promise? Something must be wrong with you.” If he can make you feel ashamed, you’ll let go of God’s word.

So the trick is to sing, “Sing, O barren woman, sing, for the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married.” Every time the devil shames you, sing. Sing because God is good. I’m telling you, the devil will try to embarrass you right after you’ve preached a message on faith. He’ll say, “You call yourself a faith preacher? Look at all the doubts you’re battling.”

Here’s a secret: having doubts in your mind is not a problem. Just don’t speak them out loud. If you don’t speak a doubt, it gets aborted right away and has no power in your life. Even when I go to the Father, doubts flood my mind. I process them with my Father in my thoughts, not my words. With my words, I will praise Him. Just remember, bless your heart, and move into praise. Don’t wait for Sunday to praise Him. Praise has nothing to do with music and drums; it has everything to do with your heart.

Praise is very infectious. When one person is infected with praise, the entire room can become infected. Praise is your breakthrough. Any breakthrough that happens in your life happens in your heart first. Praise is an expression of the deep revelation you have of the goodness of the Father.

You can sing a song like “You are good all the time” and still feel defeated. It’s okay to enter your prayer closet with tears, but it’s not okay to get up while still crying. Your mourning needs to turn into dancing. Instead of your shame, He will give you a double portion. So turn your shame into praise.

When you turn your shame into praise, you’re moving into testimony. Don’t let the devil embarrass you. Be confident in the Lord. Be confident in the One who has called you. We are all here because of God’s grace. None of us have perfected ourselves. We are all here because of His grace. So let’s give all glory to Jesus. Turn your shame into testimony.

When the people of Israel were conquering Jericho, they walked around the city for six days. On the seventh day, they walked around the city seven times. Reading it sounds easy, but have you ever walked around a city? Forget walking around your garden! Walking around the city takes so much strength. After walking seven times, they had to shout. After they shouted, the walls came down, and then they had to fight.

Where did they get the energy from? Praise is your breakthrough. Praise gives you access to the supernatural strength of God.

Anytime you feel weak, praise God. If you feel burnt out from your job and career after a long day, praise God. It will give you energy. Praise will give you a fresh outpouring of the oil of the Holy Spirit. When the elements of a machine have no oil, they make sounds, and if they keep rubbing for a long period, they’ll get burnt out. Sometimes you are like this, getting burnt out. Burning out for a Christian is not natural.

What it means is you are lacking oil. Just sleeping will not fix it. You should sleep, but what you lack is the oil of the Holy Spirit.

I play football every week, and I get tired, but I still love playing football. Never in my life have I gone home saying, “Oh, I’m so burnt out from playing football. I’m never going to play again.” Burning out is the result of doing something you don’t enjoy. That’s why you need the oil of the Holy Spirit, the oil that will keep you on fire.


About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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