“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 wondered about the verse that says to give a sacrifice of praise? Have you ever wondered what exactly that meant or what that costs? I believe that most if not all of us have during the seasons of our faith-walks.
I think the simplest and most profound answer to this is found in the exploration of our faith emotions, and how our valid emotions from circumstances, hurt feelings, broken hearts and disappointments, tend to dictate the trajectory of our praise or the lack thereof.
THE DAM OF HURT FEELINGS
Hurt feelings are a shared part of the human experience and oftentimes, no matter the cause or the culprit, they lead us to blame God for them. We not only shut off from men when we are experiencing emotional hurt and heartache but many of us tend to withdraw from our Beloved Father.
Our lips close to anything but complaint and we cease to give praise. We forgo the speaking of His Word in faith and our hurt feelings fester instead of finding healing and relief.
Now, let us reiterate this truth. We are allowed to feel what we are feeling. The Lord gave us emotions for a reason. Also, we are allowed to voice our complaints. The Psalms are full of valid complaints. The thing is, those complaints are seasoned with praise.
The thing is, it is much easier to sink into our sadness rather than lift our hands and open our mouths in praise.
BUT WHEN WE OFFER THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE...
But when we open our mouths and praise, when we take our wounds and confusion to our Loving Heavenly Father, the wells and rivers within us begin to flow, the atmosphere changes, clarity is given, our circumstances begin to be viewed from His lens of love.
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” ~PSALM 24:7-10
See, what the enemy wants is for us, the Voices of God’s Word in the earth, to cease to speak, for when we give voice to His Word, His angels move on our behalf (PSALM 103:20), our hearts begin to beat with hope and expectation regardless of what we may be feeling.
We begin to remember, even in the midst of our emotions that what the enemy means for evil the Lord turns to good especially when we Praise Him. Again, when we praise we activate the life of His word and His angels begin to move on our behalf.
THIS IS THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Job 14:7-9 says that at the scent of water, a dead oak springs to life even when it is beyond the point of death. When we worship, the rivers within us flow and life comes to us by His Spirit living within us. The wounds are washed over with His love. We open the door for Him to heal and redeem.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” ~PSALMS 5:11-12
Remember, joy is not conditional. Joy is found in the Lord and the consistent Character of the Lord and in His presence are we flooded with this joy. When we praise, when we in our pain offer up this sacrifice, more of His healing water flows to us and floods our hearts.
Praise is so important. Praise is like a down payment, a security deposit on what belongs to you. The sacrifice of praise says, ‘Yes I am hurting, but I know my redeemer lives and He has redeemed this. This is not the end.’
And it is not the end. I pray that all of us will learn to heal as we feel, that we will shed the lies that condemn us for being honest with our hurt, and that we will embrace the comfort and power of praise as we process in our faith-walk.
~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!