“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 springs up when, in my most difficult circumstance, I determine to honor Him. I determine to sacrifice all the emotions that arise from my human perspective, and praise Him for His faithfulness. I praise Him for bringing me safely through each trial that makes no sense—that I know will drown me if I do not give it to Him. My praise, in every moment of distress, changes despair into joy. It dispels worry, and changes confusion into clarity. In praise I focus on Him and not my circumstance. I see His blessings much more clearly. All is well 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 when I choose to praise Him. 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. 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.
One day my sacrifice of praise shall no longer be a sacrifice. It will flow easily and joyfully no matter what surrounds me. My heart and mind will no longer be consumed with pain, but shall be filled with all of Him. I will only focus on the strength of His character and the faithfulness of His love for me. My praise shall flow into worship, and His Spirit will strengthen me. Lifted into His presence, I shall be free. His freedom shall be more real than anything that I face. It is my promise. And it will have sprung from my sacrifice of praise.
So why do I wait to give Him my sacrifice? Let it be now.
Lynn Hampton Lacher