“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.
Praise, like prayer, changes me. 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 decision that I will praise Him no matter how I feel. Life's hardship will not keep me from praising Him. It will spur me on to praise Him....to reach for Him, and give all that I face to Him. One day praise will no longer be a sacrifice. Praise will rise from a heart that constantly believes and knows He is faithful to carry my burden. My heart and mind shall no longer focus on my circumstance or pain or difficulty, but on His faithfulness and His blessings (Isaiah 26:3). I shall have given all to Him, knowing and believing that He will handle everything that I can't. Praise shall rise, and there will be peace (Philippians 4:6-7).