Sometimes praising God is a sacrifice.
- Not because He isn't worthy - because He is.
- Not because we don't know to praise Him - we certainly do know that we should.
- Not because we don't want to praise Him - because rightfully, in our minds, we do want to give Him glory.
In the last decade, "praise and worship" has become a shallow activity of singing songs that appeal to the emotions."Praise" is so much more than that.
It is vocalizing God's goodness and responding to that goodness by living our lives according to His principles and precepts.
Praising the Lord is a sacrifice because it is often emotionally painful.
As we sing the glories of all that God is, we are confessing all that we are not.
- When we praise His will, we are surrendering our own will.
- When we praise His worth, we are acknowledging our own unworthiness.
- When we praise His ways, we are saying that we will abandon our ways.
- When we praise His wisdom, we are agreeing to lay our wisdom aside.
- When we praise His works, we are admitting that even the difficult things are from Him, and therefore are meant for our good.
Hebrews 13:12-15 -
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
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.
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
What things are mentioned here as "such sacrifices"?
- Going outside the camp - leaving the familiar
- Bearing Christ's reproach - living our lives differently than the non-believer, and suffering for it
- Having no continuing city - not getting too comfortable here on earth
- Seeking Heaven - having our eyes always on eternity
- Offering sacrifices of praise to God - giving voice to the goodness of God
- the fruit of our lips giving thanks - the result of our verbal praise bringing honor to Christ's name
- Doing good
- Communicating all of this to the world
This then, is true "praise".
So there will be days when singing out our praise and living out the truth of that praise will be a sacrifice for us.
Can I just encourage you to PRAISE Him even when it hurts. As we relinquish our will to His, even though it may cause us pain, He fills us with His incredible peace.
Having peace is so much greater than having control.
May your tears be more than an emotional response to the music of a song. May they be the outward response to an inward surrender to His will for your life.
If my lips sing it, my life should live it.