Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
Have you ever had one of those days? Today is not one of them for me, but I’ve had
my fill. I remember a one time waking up really bummed. I won’t say that I was depressed, I just
wasn’t happy. I rose from bed in a foul mood and it carried throughout much of the day. As far as church and worship went, I just wasn’t into it. But in a moment of discernment
, I found myself praying to the Lord that [ironically] I had earlier lagged to praise, and wouldn’t you know it, Jesus responded. God is faithful
even when I am not, and accordingly, He provided me a Bible study
which focused on continual sacrificial
praise. As a result I came away with a renewed appreciation for sacrificial giving, whether it is in regard to worship, service, or benevolence.
Seasons (and the feelings that accompany them), will always be with us; there will be always be rain in spring, growth in summer, harvest in autumn, and stillness in winter. Changes occur over the course of a lifetime or in a moment in time, with the only certainty being that there will be change. Having said that, Christians know (or should know) that we are a people led by the Spirit and not our emotions.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
The fact that we have emotional ups and downs is no secret to God. He gave us the emotions to begin with, but He also gave us choice. As a result, God has provided a way by which we can give sacrificially; praising Him in spite of our emotional or physical condition. Anyone can praise God when there is spiritual growth or harvest, but when the rain pours or our hearts are cold, we’ve been given an exit strategy divine — it all boils down to the choices we can make in the light of any affliction. I suspect that the widow in Mark 12 had some impassioned feelings regarding her poverty, yet she still chose wisely. Is this not of God? Is this not praise?
This poor widow has put in more (praise) than all those who have given…for they all (praised) out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had (Mark 12:43b-44, paraphrase mine)
I Missed Out
God’s message to me was timely and I found myself that morning praising Him for His faithfulness to me in my times of faithlessness. He had lifted me out of an emotional pit and had placed me on higher ground, able to praise Him with abundant joy where there was done previously. However, I also realize that I had an opportunity to praise Him sacrificially (in my emotional poverty) and let that chance slip through my fingers. That knowledge might be depressing to me if not for this truth:
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1
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