Saturday, November 15, 2014
Where'd the Praise Go?
I've been thinking alot about praise this last week. What it means to me, what it means to the world, what it means to God. Hebrews 13:15 talks about making a "sacrifice of praise" to God and to do it "continually". So that got me wondering what a sacrifice of praise actually is.
God takes pleasure in our worship and praise of Him. Some people would say that makes him an egotistical being. But when you look at why He created us and if you believe that and if you could see how much he loves and does for us daily, then you wouldn't mind giving a bit of a shout-out to Him every once in awhile. But God is moved by real, honest, sincere praise. We tend to willingly, easily offer up praise to God when something good comes our way. Certainly we could all spend quite a bit of time naming our blessings. It's good to praise God in the light...but it's also easy. Praise when life is going as YOU planned doesn't cost you a thing. Therefore...it's not a sacrifice.
What happens to your praise, to my praise when it becomes dark...when His plan is unknown to you...when the battle comes right to your door and kicks it in and sits on your couch? One man in the Bible comes to mind...Job. Job has scared me, as a Christian. To know that , even as God's child, you may still have to endure some bad things makes me nervous. What my family has gone through the last year is hard...but I have seen and heard of worse situations, and , while I believe struggle is struggle and that there are no problems bigger or smaller in God's eyes, still...
Job said "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." And that wasn't a question. That was a statement. Man, that took guts..that took...faith. To continually offer a sacrifice of praise is to praise regardless of your circumstances. If we can do that, then our faith WILL grow stronger.
I think, perhaps, the praise that touches the very heart of God the most is the praise we have to struggle to bring forth. The praise that comes from somewhere deep inside, past the circumstances, that has to fight and claw it's way through the darkness to come out.
And when the world sees that peace on you they don't understand, when they see you praising God when the chips are down, then they catch a glimpse of Jesus and what he offers to them. Words are heard and forgotten...actions are remembered. This kind of praise, that glorifies God and shows others the way, will take grace...heaps of it, you can be sure of that.
This song expresses it nearly perfectly...