Day 2: Praise
Published on 08 October 2019
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‘Praise’ means, “to express warm approval of, or admiration toward…” God is worthy of praise all the time because He Is good all the time, but sometimes praise is a sacrifice. When we praise God this way, it’s a gift to God that declares that He is worthy no matter how we feel or what season we may be in. But it’s not always easy. Sacrifice can hurt… it has a cost and it is expensive… it requires effort… it requires faith. To praise God when we don’t feel like it requires personal sacrifice.
It takes an act of the will to lay our all on the altar before God, when sometimes we don’t understand what we’re going through. When we bring a ‘sacrifice of praise,’ we choose to believe that, even though life may not going as we think it should, God is still good and can be trusted.
Then there are those times when we feel like God did not come through the way we thought He would. Maybe it seems like God is very far away, and praise is the last thing to bubble up from our hearts. Maybe it seems hard to see His goodness, and our circumstances scream that He has forgotten us. But praise is not a ‘reward’ for God based on our opinion of His job-performance.
Isaiah 29:13 says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Real praise continues regardless of circumstances. It flows continuously from a worshiping heart in good times and bad. When we choose to praise God in spite of the storms, He is honoured, and our faith grows deeper. It rises from a spirit that has chosen to honour God in spite of the pain that life may be causing.
Hebrews 13:15 says, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name." The terms, ‘sacrifice,’ and ‘praise,’ might seem like opposites. We think of sacrifice as offering something at great cost to ourselves. Praise, on the other hand, sounds joyful as it bubbles up from a grateful heart.
However, in the spiritual realm, sacrifice and praise are intertwined.
Praising God in the hard times doesn’t minimise or deny the heaviness that your heart might be feeling. Instead, it redirects our focus on who God is. He never changes. He promised never to leave or abandon His children, so we can count on His presence, even when our emotions aren’t lining up to confirm it. It is possible to praise the Lord in hardship. It’s a choice, not a feeling. It becomes a kind of personal battle cry.
Even when we don’t feel like it, when we can’t see it or when we feel really discouraged ,we can wait on our good Father with fierce expectation. He is faithful and true! If we can’t praise Him for our circumstances, we can praise Him in them and in spite of them.
I want to encourage you today to make a decision to praise God no matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on in your life. Let’s all stop and take 5 mins (put on one of our planetboom praise songs) and thank God for who He is.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalms 100:4 (NLT)
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