Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Hebrews 13:15
It sounds crazy because sacrifice sounds like something forced, and something unpleasant and praise sounds like something good and commendable, and easy.
We have to come to an understanding of what sacrifice really is and I actually wrote about sacrifice in one of the previous devotionals. Sacrifice is actually the decision to give something of a lower nature, in order to receive or achieve something greater. This takes discipline. When we are going through hard time, or feeling in a negative mood our desire to praise God is usually very low- what we truly want to do is to cry, complain, demand and keep our distance from God.
Praising God and to sacrifice are actually decisions we make, because they do not always flow naturally.
For example, if God answers our prayers, we will respond with gratitude and commend God for doing His thing for us. But if God does not act when or how we desire for Him to act, we can become uncomfortable and praising God seems very unnecessary and possibly undeserved. Especially if we think of God in human terms, like that of intimate partner, family, or friend. And that is simply a carnal way to think of God. God is spirit and we must never forget that. We are living a spiritual life, in a human body- so we need to align our minds to God’s way of thinking. The spiritual realm has its own economy, its own agenda and its own rules.
Sometimes when we can’t see that God Is Good; and life starts yelling at us (or satan) that God has forgotten us.
The bible says that God accepts sacrifice, when it comes from a humble heart. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart”. (Psalm 51)
- having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. smashed, shattered, fragmented, splintered, crushed, snapped;
- (of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.defeated, beaten, subdued
Sounds like when we are down and out is when we should praise the Lord, especially because this is when He will listen.That is, God would look upon us with favor, and bless us.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this word and for giving us understanding on what you expect from us. May you grant us success in this area of our lives, may we worship you in the midst of all and any types of circumstances. May we be like Paul and Silas, who praised their way to freedom. They were in prison, but humbled themselves to sing praises unto you, and you freed them from physical captivity. I pray we would always remember to praise you, and when the days become dark and oppressive may you put a new song of praise on our lips. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.