(I wrote this a while back and felt like I needed to share this today)
“Through him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips
that give thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)
I’ve never thought about praise being a sacrifice, but sometimes due to the circumstances of life, praise seems like the last thing I want to do. Praise seems like it should be reserved for the mountaintop, when God is showing off his splendor. Praise should be saved for a time when we are smiling, joyous, happy, and radiating with life.
But sometimes, we just don’t feel that way. Sometimes we have bad days or weeks or months or years. Sometimes happiness or joy seem like the farthest reality from our current circumstances. I think it’s in those times, though, that this verse is applicable. When praise is the antonym to our feelings-then praising God at that time is a sacrifice. When we are wallowing in self pity or consumed by daily pressures-praise is a sacrifice. When the kids are driving us crazy and no one seems to care that we are about to pull out our hair-praise is a sacrifice. When the doctor gives an uncertain prognosis-praise is a sacrifice. When it seems bleak and our hearts are heavy-praise is a sacrifice. When the money ends before the month does-praise is a sacrifice. When we are upset with God and just don’t want to be reminded of His greatness and love for us-praise is a sacrifice.
The sacrifice of praise is worth it, though. It is worth is because it turns our attention off of us and focuses it on Him. We are reminded of His awesomeness and great compassion and soon, praise isn’t so sacrificial; it becomes natural. The more we praise, the more light we let in, and the more of our selfishness we put to rest. The more we praise, the more our perspective changes. We are aware of God’s presence and purposes when we offer up the sacrifice of praise.
Have you praised him today? If not, take time right now and offer up praises to His name, even if-especially if-it’s a sacrifice. Now, take a few minutes and write your own prayer of praise as you revel in how great God is.