“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).
Praise. It is that very instance, when in my most difficult circumstance, distress changes into joy; praise dispels worry, and confusion changes into clarity. All is well and peaceful within me though outwardly the storm rages.
In praise I am changed, and that change must first come from within me. No matter how difficult my problems or my circumstance–the change is found in my heart. Praise in the midst of hardship breaks down inner walls. It recognizes the power of my God over the things out of my control. Once I grasp that truth my heart will trust His faithfulness, and in the chaos of my circumstances order will come.
My gift to Him is a thankful heart. When things are hard—when pain persists—when problems overwhelm, I will seek reasons to be thankful. I will seek to realize the blessings He gives that often slip by unobserved. The gift of thanksgiving in my heart—no matter what is going on in my life—is my sacrifice of praise.
What had once been a sacrifice of praise shall be a sacrifice no longer. My heart shall no longer focus on my pain, but on His faithfulness and His blessings. And then there will be joy.