Just a quick update this morning.
How often do you hear praise of our Lord Jesus Christ? How often do you hear grumbling and complaint about our circumstances? If you are hearing the same human race as I am, you know where I am going. And I dare say, it is not much different within the Christian community. Yes, Christians praise while in a church service or prayer meeting or when we are giving a , but what about when all the stuff of life is happening. Is praise continually on our lips? During these times our God has not changed. Why should the praise we lift up change, or even cease? Beloved, circumstances will resolve or pass away. And, more significantly, our circumstances (aka trials and tribulations) are for developing faith and perseverance in us.
Consider Hebrews 13:15, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name."
Notice a couple of word choices that God has included.
1) constantly - 'we are to constantly offer praise up to God' - constantly means c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y
2) at all times - 'we are to at all times offer praise up to God' - at all times is pretty clear!
3) I think God makes a pretty strong case when He reiterates 'constantly' with 'at all times'.
4) sacrifice - 'a sacrifice of praise'; the word sacrifice doesn't bring to mind a sweet little girl skipping through the meadow freely praising the Lord. No, sacrifice is a costly choice when other things may be much easier and seem even more satisfying for the moment.
5) What exactly does He mean by offering up praise? That we 'thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name'.
A couple of closing thoughts regarding praise:
++Praise turns trials into faith-builders as we learn to measure our problems against His limitless power transforming the stumbling blocks of today into stepping stones for tomorrow.
++Praise frees us from having to understand our circumstances, knowing that God is in control. A heart that is filled with praise does not have to understand every detail of the circumstance. In fact, the details really don't matter. What does matter is that God is aware of every minute detail, monitors the circumstance and shapes it to fit His plan.