“Take a breath and make a sacrifice… of praise.”
These are the words that I tell myself, often. It’s the overriding theme, it’s the same message. It’s part of the ‘will of God for me’, especially because God put on my heart as a life verse, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes. 5:16,17,18.
The reason I say, take a breath and make a ‘sacrifice of praise’ is because the other overriding theme to my life is – “BUT, I don’t feel like it, not right NOW at least, how can I praise when there’s so much going on?”
When things just don’t make sense, and I’m trying to gather some ‘control’, and God allows things to be ‘torn down’, or noisy, or messy, or misunderstood, or just plain ‘bad’, the last thing I want to do – is to praise Him. The ‘natural’ tendency for man is to become discouraged in heart and to ‘fret!’
But the Father has inspired His word in His Book, in HisStory to bring me and you, focus in our chaos. He speaks clearly:
“Do not fret…!” Ps. 37:1.
God’s word is so straight forward!
And what seems impossible for me, He reminds me IS possible with Him’, He gently reminds me of a portion of my ‘life verse’: “Rejoice Always,…”Toni’. “For My grace is sufficient.” ( 2 Cor. 12:9). Pray without ceasing… ( 1 Thess. 5:17),My daughter, my Bride…”(Song of Solomon).”Continually ‘cast all your cares upon Me’ (1 Peter 5:7). Are you believing ‘I care for you? Can you trust Me…even in this? Even in THIS, can you trust Me?”
This is when the area of ‘choice’ comes into play. All of a sudden, the ‘ball is back in my court.’ “Toni, will you choose ‘faith’ or will you choose ‘fear and flesh’! Take a breath of faith, let go of the fear!
So, when we are the most pitiful of all, but even making some ‘sacrifice’ to acknowledge God, somehow, the Lord touches us there like never before, and somehow breathes in us some unexplainable life that helps us to even take that breath of faith and make a sacrifice of praise.
This is the awesome work of the Holy Spirit- who dwells in those who have ‘asked Him in!’
“Praise be to God because He lives, I can face tomorrow! The Lord reigns, let the earth REJOICE! God is on the throne! He knows all that is going on! ”
Praise ‘in’ the battle restores…
Because He abides and dwells in our praises, and in His presence is fullness of joy! It all sounds so simple… If only we are willing to…
Bring a sacrifice of praise! The reward is great when we make that choice. The reward is greater than great! He restores in us a hope that, yes, He allowed a ‘tearing or breaking down,’ but He also promised that there would be a building up! God takes off the ‘fret-ful garments and clothes us a-new when we make this sacrifice:
He gives a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness’, Isaiah 61:3).
Praise it will be ‘in’ the waiting, and in the battle! Praise is the choice and the sacrifice I choose. I have no words of my own, so the Psalms will be my sacrificial tone:
“Oh GOD, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your loving kindness is better than life , my lips shall praise You… When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore…
In the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice…”(Psalm 63:1-3,6,7).
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks,”for this is God’s will for you right now, make that sacrifice! It’s so worth it!