Have you ever struggle so much that you simply could not see the silver lining in any situation? The valley that God brought into your life seemed like it was never going to end and the stress and turmoil all around you seemed to suck out any joy left inside. Surely, the mountains above you were going to cave in on you.
There are some seasons that God decides we must go through, usually to change us from the inside out, and through it all, we are commanded to praise Him.
Praise Him? Through our struggle? Through our grief? Through our pain? Are we reading these verses correctly?
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
I think we are reading them correctly. The book of Philippians is my favorite book of the Bible. Paul is such a great example to us in this book. In this small book, we see that even though Paul was a prisoner he was singing praises to God while chained to the floor. He chose to praise the Lord even when he was in a valley. What a testimony that is! The church of Philippi was started after his miraculous departure from that prison cell after singing praises with Silas! The book all about rejoicing, joy and thanksgiving was written during one of Paul’s hardest times. Amazing.
If Paul could praise the Lord in his valley surely, we can as well. None of us are sitting in a prison cell right now. While we may face persecution in the future as our religious liberties are being slowly stripped away from us, we can still practice praising Him where we are at. Wherever that may be today. Whether life is all roses or if you are experiencing an all time low.
Sure, you say. That’s all well and good in theory. But how does one do this? While I certainly don’t have it all together, and I have been honest with my struggle of accepting God’s will in my own difficulties (a few times!), I have learned how this simple step can be put into practice.
God knew that this would be an area that we would struggle with. I love that about the Bible! God knows us better than we know ourselves!
In Hebrews, we are told that sometimes praise would be a sacrifice for us. Sometimes we aren’t going to feel like doing it. Sometimes it is going to feel impossible. Sometimes it will be one of the hardest things we may have to do in the face of tragedy. But we are still to sacrifice and do it.
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. Hebrews 13:15
The sacrifice of praise.
So when it seems too hard to be thankful. Too hard to praise the Lord. Too hard to face another day in the valley. Cling to truth. Cling to the Comforter and offer the sacrifice of praise.
Do it when it is hard. Do it when it easy. Your walk with the King will be transformed when you choose gratitude, in hard times.
Don’t beat yourself up when you fail. Don’t give up all hope. Don’t let Satan keep you down focused on your problems.
Look to Jesus.
How does this notion of offering the sacrifice of praise fit into our study on Growing in Prayer? Easy! When is the time we talk to God? When we are praying. When we are pouring out our heartache before the Lord, be sure to praise Him for it all. God may not change your circumstances right away but rest assured that He is changing your heart.
And that is what we are going for in our walk with Him.
Your turn! Have you experienced praise being a sacrifice in your life? What challenges did you overcome to continue praising Him despite life’s hardships? Let’s talk in the comments below!
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