"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."
Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
Do you ever find yourself having one of "those days"? Days packed full of disapointment when things just don't go your way, and you are completely exhausted from the weight of the world?
I've had one of those weeks.
Even though I know its wrong, sometimes satan keeps my mind from recollecting that God's promises are true, His ways are best, and His timing is always perfect. And when I don't get what I want, I feel like I've been let down. Because I deserved this, because I needed this, because this was perfect for me and right now is the right time for me to have it.
But as I was feeling sorry for my self earlier this week, a still, small voice gently interupted my pity party, pressing on my aching heart the words of Hebrews 13:15.
And that's when I realized there is a reason what we are told to do its called as a SACRIFICE of praise.
Because it isn't easy for me to do, and God gets that. And He loves me anyway.
Even on weeks like this, I have so much to be thankful for. But disapointments can wound us, leaving us in a weak and fragile state, vulnerable to the enemy. And if we let him, he'll seize any opportunity to slip in doubt, anger, jealousy and self pity, and before we realize it, were drowning.
But God's Word tells us that even when it doesn't feel right-even when it hurts-we are to offer God the sacrifice of praise continually, giving thanks to His name. And in Ephesians 5:20 it says that we are to give thanks ALWAYS for ALL things. No matter what trials come our way, whatever tribulations plague us, it is our duty to "in everything give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
So, if my car breaks down, my husband loses his job, we have no money in the bank and my baby gets sick, God's solution is to give Him thanks?!
When everything turns upside down, we can show God-and prove to ourselves-that we trust Him when we come to Him continually with a sacrafise of praise. When every bone in our body, every breath in our lungs cries out in praise to Him even during the darkest times in our life, we are giving Him complete control. And even though it may feel unatural, painful, and sometimes rediculous, training our minds to give thanks to God continually strengthens our faith and brings rememberance who we really are.
We are redeemed, forgiven, and loved, despite our circumstances.
We can look back in our past and see times where God was faithful and just to carry us through, just as He promised. and then the choice is ours to make; we can drown in fear and sorrow, or we can thank Him for whatever work He is doing in our lives through this trial, trusting in faith that He will keep His promises even now and never leave our side.
And we can praise Him, even in the midst of a tornado. Because let's face it; we were once lost, dying, and without hope. But God saw through our sin, and loved us enough to send His only son-and a rediculous amount of grace-to take our place. And for those of us who believe on Jesus Christ as our personal saviour and have excepted His free gift of salvation, this world is not our home. We have been pardoned, freed from the bondage of sin, cleansed, and made righteous.
Our chains are gone, we've been set free!
So we ALWAYS have that to be thankful for, even when our world turns upside down. We will never be without reason to praise God for what He's done for us.
I know its not easy, especialy since I'm in the middle of trying my best to practice what I preach, but I also know its not impossible. Because if it were, God wouldn't tell us to do it.
So I'm going to do my best to steady my grip on God's hand and push forward. Instead of dragging Him backwards and begging Him to change His mind and the outcome, I'll choose to thank Him for this weeks disapointments, and trust that even though it feels wrong, He knows its right. And I'll keep asking Him to remind my heart again and again that His promises are true, and His ways are perfect.
And I'll offer Him my sacrifice of praise.
What things have hapened lately in your life that make it hard to give thanks continualy?
Can you look back at any specific times on your life that God has turned a disapointment into something good?