Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Praising When It's Hard

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)

What is a sacrifice of praise? I believe that this is the praise that we give when we are in a hard place...when all we want to do is curl up in a ball and hide...when even the thought of praising hurts...this is sacrificial praise...and it has to be so very sweet to God's ears. Why? Not because He enjoys seeing us hurt...but because it says to Him that we trust Him to take care of us in the middle of our mess and to bring beauty from ashes to restore us.

As we begin to praise, an amazing thing happens. Our focus shift from our problems to His glory. Here is an excerpt from a devotional article I wrote a few years ago:

"Psalm 69:39 tells us 'I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.' It is a choice of the will. We can make the choice to fill our mouths with praise and thanksgiving no matter what we feel like or see. And when we make that choice to be thankful and praise instead of grumble and complain, things begin to change. In Jonah’s case the Lord caused the fish to spit him out on the shore. We might not always see an immediate change in our circumstances. But our hearts begin to change. Things that we thought were important no longer are. In the light of eternity, most of the things that we get upset about are pretty small anyway. And even in the really, really bad things that happen to us, God has promised to never leave or forsake us, and He will use what the enemy meant for our harm to turn into something good."

He is good.

He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

Just in case you needed a reminder.

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