“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 my sacrifice and my offering to God. It is that very instance, when in my most difficult circumstance, distress is calmed and there is a hope for peace. Praise dispels worry, and confusion changes into clarity. Praise will ultimately dispel fear of the unknown, and bring His peace and joy.
In praise I am changed. No matter how difficult my problems or my circumstance–no matter how fearful the thought–praise changes my outlook. Praise in the midst of hardship breaks down inner walls. Praise in the midst of fear releases faith. When things are hard—when fear persists—when problems overwhelm, I will seek reasons to be thankful. I will seek to realize His blessings that slip by unobserved. The gift of thanksgiving in my heart—no matter what is going on in my life—is my sacrifice of praise.
Giving God a sacrifice of praise is a mental decision that I will praise Him no matter how I feel. I will discipline myself to praise Him. And one day that sacrifice of praise will no longer be a sacrifice. It will come from a heart that believes He is faithful. My heart and mind shall no longer focus on my pain, or on my fear, but on His faithfulness and His blessings. And then there will peace.