Pastor's Wife, Mom, Writer & Imperfect Seeker of Jesus
Sacrifice of Praise
April 6, 2016
Praising through the tears. Praising through the pain. Praising through the trials.
For those of you who, like myself, were born in the 1970’s or earlier, you might remember an old VBS song that went,
“We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.
We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.
And we offer up to You the sacrifices of thanksgiving.
And we offer up to You the sacrifices of joy.” (I bet many of you actually sang it as you read it!)
It was always sung with loud clapping and whooping, and maybe even some tambourine shaking as we danced around. But the reality of a sacrifice of praise is something far different.
The older I get and the more life I have lived, the more I have experienced tears, pain and trials. And the more I have witnessed others experience tears, pain and trials of their own. Those are the times when it is sometimes HARD to praise.
We hurt. We question. And that is okay.
But we cannot curl up into a ball and attempt to escape, or shut the door and turn our backs on God. For if we do, we will never heal.
Some of the most impacting and healing times in my life spiritually have been those times that I have raised my hands in praise to the Father as tears of sorrow slipped down my cheeks. Whether this worship is at a church service, in your car or on your knees in your prayer closet…it is beautiful.
King David expressed, “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace. I will boast of all His kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt His name.” (Psalm 34:1-3 TLB)
It is easy to give praise when things are going well in our lives, when everyone is living in harmony and trials or frustrations keep their distance. But these times are temporary moments, for we live in a broken world desperately in need of Jesus. And no matter what is happening, Jesus IS ALWAYS worthy of our praise! Because of His sacrifice, we have the incredible opportunity to one day live in perfection with Him.
But in the meantime, while we are still here on this earth, know…“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT) Don’t forget the very last words of Jesus recorded by Matthew, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b HCSB)
“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 NIV) “So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer.” (Romans 12:1 GNT)
So my friend, when are going through a valley of deepest despair, when you feel that in your emptiness you have nothing to offer, when the pressures of the world are crushing you…give your praise.
YOU are a living sacrifice. Your praise is a fragrant offering to the Lord. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to You.” (James 4:8a HCSB)