“I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. “
Praising GOD and giving thanks for every day. Being thankful for the moment we have, not dreading the next, troubles come and go, and whether we’re on the mountain top or in the valley, we’re to give GOD praise. We don’t praise GOD just because life is good, we praise GOD because HE is so good! “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-24
Praising GOD when life is great and everything is going our way, not so difficult, yet we’re to praise GOD even when that’s not the case. “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.” Hebrew 13:15 Notice this verse says to ‘continually offer the sacrifice of praise’, we’re to ALWAYS offer praise, our situation doesn’t dictate our praise, our praise is to be unconditional.
The Greek word, thusia, was used for sacrifice, which comes from the root word, ‘thuo’. ‘Thuo’ is a verb meaning “to kill or slaughter for a purpose”. So when we offer GOD a sacrifice, it can be that we are killing our pride, fear, or even laziness. When we’re suffering, the last thing we want to do is to thank GOD for HIS blessings, it’s not natural, and that’s why it’s a sacrifice. Praise isn’t always what we want to do; it’s what we need to do. The sacrifice might also be related to pride, for example, if we get rewarded for some achievement, instead of telling everyone, “yes, I worked really hard for this”, try saying, “thank you GOD, I couldn’t have done this without you”.
Also in Hebrews 13:15, “the fruit of our lips”, we all bear fruit with our actions and our words. Remember Jesus’ words, “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad…For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” Matthew 12:33-36 No word that leaves our mouth is without profit or loss, the words we speak do not disappear, they will be remembered (unless we repent of those words and ask GOD for forgiveness). Don’t you want your words to be remembered for encouraging and praising GOD?!
The good fruit and bad fruit, makes me think of it this way. We feed GOD the good fruit, when we praise GOD through the tough times, we’re feeding him the fruit of our words, we’re allowing HIM to grow larger in our lives, and we’re giving HIM the praise HE deserves!! BUT when we give bad fruit, we’re feeding the devil, we’re feeding him the negativity and misery he thrives off of, we’re giving him a foothold into our lives, we’re allowing the enemy to steal our joy and letting him defeat GOD’s will for our lives.
So we have to train ourselves, it isn’t natural for us to give praise when times are tough (remember our bodies are only flesh, it’s our spirit that is the new creation, and our minds have to renewed to match our spirit). “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 The saying, ‘garbage in, garbage out’, speaks true here. We get out of ourselves, what we put in, the same goes for our diet, exercise, the TV shows we watch and books we read. This is why reading our Bible every day is so important; if you keep putting GOD’s word into you, it will come out of you. You will find it easier to speak encouraging words and your outlook on life will change dramatically. If you listen to praise and worship music a little bit each day, you will find joy in your spirit even when the day is going wrong, you will discover that offering those sacrifices of praise are less of a sacrifice and more of a gift. Once we have conditioned ourselves with praising GOD and we are praising HIM out of habit, we will be able to bless others (and ourselves) by speaking words of encouragement and not defeat.
Here’s a final thought on how we will ALWAYS have a reason to be thankful, regardless of our circumstances: We can ALWAYS be thankful for Jesus Christ . We can remember HIS sacrifice, HE came to earth, bore our shame and punishment, HE saved us before we ever knew HIM, HE loved us before we loved HIM, HE died for us before we gave HIM our hearts. And we can be thankful that today, HE sits at the Father’s right hand and righteousness is HIS, we have HOPE, we have FAITH, we have the Father’s LOVE, we have a comforter, the Holy Spirit, we are never alone and we know that no matter what we may go through on this earth, we are GOD’s children and we will overcome any circumstance and situation, we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus! So we can offer a small sacrifice to HIM, we can offer HIM a sacrifice with praise and thanksgiving in any circumstance we are going through, because the price we pay is nothing compared to the price HE paid for us.