“15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV
As we near the end of our 21 Days of Gratitude, you are probably aware now that there is so much more at work in gratitude than someone simply saying thank you. We have learned that gratitude is a Kingdom thing. Literally, our choice to respond to life with gratitude either establishes God’s rule in our lives or forfeits it. Praise is a weapon.
In light of this bigger perspective, we must commit ourselves to this lifestyle if we truly want to see God’s will done in our lives and if we want to experience the life He has for us. In our key verse today, we see a perspective about thanksgiving, praise, and gratitude that we haven’t seen yet.
The author of Hebrews uses a phrase that seems contradictory to this concept of praise and thanksgiving. The writer says we are to ‘continually offer a sacrifice of praise.’ Yes, we have learned about giving thanks always, rejoicing always, and being joyful always. And today, this truth may be the secret weapon that makes the continual part work.
Think about it just for a second. Give a ‘sacrifice of praise’!
Sacrifices cost you something.
Most of the time when we think about praise services or being appreciative it is combined with this atmosphere of energy or an emotional response to something good happening. Church people love to get their ‘praise on’ during Sunday services.
But the key to unlocking the full benefits of gratitude is understanding that sometimes it costs you something. It is a sacrifice to praise sometimes.
Sometimes giving praise doesn’t make sense.
Sometimes giving thanks isn’t easy.
And yet we are commanded, continually offer up a sacrifice of praise.
No matter how you feel, no matter what life looks like, regardless of how dark the storm ....praise God anyway.
In the midst of loss and ridicule, when your haters tell you ‘just curse God and die’, give thanks anyway.
Praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving release God to order your life according to His plan. And when this happens, heaven comes to earth! Gratitude and praise become the permission for God to do His mighty works in your life.
Do you want to turn around a bad circumstance? Put a praise on it. Do you want God to show up when you are facing an impossible situation? Put a praise on it.
The secret of sacrificial praise is that it becomes the invitation for God to fill the gap between our inabilities and His ability, between earthly impossibilities and heavenly possibilities.