A Sacrifice of Praise

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Praising God is often associated with worship meetings. It is also associated with singing, dancing, clapping of hands or lifting up of hands in praise. Sometimes, enabled by the Holy Spirit, praise happens in languages foreign to the speaker which is understood as speaking in tongues. All this is part of praising God and generally praise is done in a joyous mood.

But praise is also to be understood as sacrifice. Though we no longer need to offer blood sacrifices to God because Jesus died once for all for our sins, we now can and need to offer to God a sacrifice of praise. That too continually.

Sacrifices in the Old Testament brought man near to God through the shed blood of animals. But now we draw near to God through the shed blood of Jesus. At the same time we can offer God something similar to the sacrifices in the Old Testament–i.e., the sacrifice of praise.

Often we move about in a spirit of despair even when we say that we trust in God. We often lose the joy of the LORD which is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). In fact, salvation is good news of great joy. But we betray our lack of joy in the daily walk of life.

The best way to get back to joyous living, which is free from worry, is by praising God when you don’t have any good reason to do so. The prophet Habakkuk understood it even though he did not understand why God would allow the Babylonians, a nation more wicked than Judah to destroy the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Out of this understanding he said: “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour,” even though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines and though every other expected blessing failed (see Habakkuk 3:17, 18).

Yes, it is a sacrifice of praise to maintain a joyful attitude in difficult experiences of life. Perhaps you have made a mess of your life by making bad choices and decisions. Perhaps today you shouted at your wife and made her sad. Perhaps some people are critical of you at all times without reason. Or like Paul and Silas you are passing through a midnight prison experience (a situation where there seems no way out). That is the time to praise God as they did (see Acts 16:25). Who knows whether God will cause your praising Him in dark situations of life to open doors and bring salvation to others.

Definitely Jesus came to give us a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3). So let your lips offer to God a sacrifice of praise to God continually. Let praising God be a constant experience of your life. This, along with doing good and sharing with others, pleases God (Hebrews 13:16).

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