When is praise to God a sacrifice?
It is a sacrifice when I feel like complaining about my circumstances, but I choose to accept them. If I want to truly praise God, I must be content where He has placed me, trusting that He has a reason for my challenging circumstances.
“Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (James 3:10).
It is a sacrifice when I feel justified in holding on to a hurt, but still choose to forgive. A heart that truly praises God must release past hurts to live in the freedom of God’s love.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).
It is a sacrifice when I want what I want, but choose to be happy with what He gives me. Accepting the resources God has given me makes me grateful for all that comes from His hand.
“[W]hen you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things” (Psalm 104:28b).
Praising God means we sacrifice our right to hold grudges and to choose our own paths. We lay down our wants, desires, and hurts on the altar to die. True praise comes from a grateful heart, which comes from someone who gratefully acknowledges the sovereignty of God in his or her life.
Lord, help me be grateful for what you have given me. I praise you, Lord, because you give me good things. Amen.
Go deeper — are you holding on to a grudge today? Ask God to help you lay it down.
Photo Credit: Elaine Casap