Wednesday, December 31, 2014

a sacrifice of praise

Lately I've been learning more about the sacrifice of praise. What exactly is a "sacrifice of praise?" It doesn't seem like praise should be a sacrifice right? When I think of praise I think of something easy to do...when that extra money comes in, when you get the good report from the doctor, when you just miss a huge auto accident...EASY!  So what would make praise a sacrifice?  I remember singing a song in church when I was younger: 

"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 sacrifices of joy." -Kirk Dearman

I had no idea what I was actually saying. 

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.  Heb 13:15

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thess 5:16-18

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Cor 4:7-9

What I've discovered is that a sacrifice of praise happens

in the darkest hours 
when you've been rejected
when someone has given up on you
when God seems far away
when the light at the end of the tunnel has gone dark
when your child just doesn't seem to be getting better
when your marriage just continues to fall apart
when that relationship just can't be worked out
when the bank account just keeps going further into the negative

We bring a sacrifice of praise…

It sounds like this:

Thank you God for my messed up situation because through it I will know you better.  I will not be alone.  You will never reject or forsake me.  I will be pressed but not crushed.  I will be persecuted but not destroyed.  By the way, God, this sucks big time and I don't even know how to say this and mean it…but I'm going to praise you because you command it, you desire it, and it changes my heart.

keepin it real

Until the next time,