The leper in who approached Jesus in Matt 8, fell on his knees and chose to worship Jesus, he knew the benefits of praise.
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Matt 8:1-2
Despite the extremeness of his suffering, he still humbled himself and praised God. Wow! That’s powerful!
If you’re going through the fiery furnace the best thing you can do is praise God. When we suffer, it’s all too tempting to stay in that sense realm where we allow our feelings to dominate our thoughts and words, making praising much harder.
It’s against our human nature, hence the term ‘sacrifice of praise’.
You see the enemy wants to keep you in the natural where there is no hope. He will try and convince you that God has forgotten you or that you’ll stay limited forever.
When you offer a sacrifice of praise, even for just a short while, you’re counteracting the enemy and choosing to side with God.
THE BENEFITS OF PRAISE
God doesn’t need you to praise him. He has millions of angels who are worshipping him continually. This means that the purpose of praising God is for you and me, we benefit.
No matter how great the suffering, God’s goodness is always greater! When we make God our focus and choose to practise the sacrifice of praise, God will cause supernatural doors to be opened!
If you’re unwell right now, understanding the benefits of praise will encourage you to worship. Praising will:
- help you to see things from God’s perspective.
- support you in breaking the pain of depression
- cause you to be more hopeful and expectant.
“When we thank, praise & worship God, we prime our circuits for high intellectual function, & every cell in our body is positively affected.” Caroline Leaf
This is what happened when Jonah was in the whale. At first the last thing he felt like doing was praising God; he was in the depths of despair.
This was an impossible situation, but the moment he worshipped God for his goodness, his situation turned around!
EXAMPLE OF JONAH AND THE WHALE
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you…..And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 2: 9-10
I wonder what would have happened if Jonah had failed to praise God?
Worshipping in the valley also reminds us God is with us in our suffering. There’s no power in focusing on our problems.
With Jonah however, there was a significant process at work. He had to go through the complaining stage first whilst he acclimatised to being in the whale, otherwise I believe the praise would have been quite false.
YOU CAN STILL BE REAL
In all honesty though, I don’t believe this means pretending we don’t feel what we feel. God wants us to be authentic. It’s ok to tell God what you’re really thinking and feeling, you’re his child, he wants you to come to him with your heart.
To me, the sacrifice of praise means acknowledging your pain and heartache and choosing to praise God in the midst of the suffering.
If may just be for a few moments but as you go on your journey you’ll build up the amount of time you praise.
Praise and worship to God is a vital part of the culture in any church I’ve ever been in; we’re not just killing time before the preaching begins.
When we praise we’re showing God we trust Him; we’re expecting His supernatural power. We know He’s fighting our battles for us. We know our praise causes supernatural walls to come tumbling down.
The next time you’re faced with a crisis, put on a worship CD and sing your way to victory.
Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. Is 54:1
You and I can be expectant because of what Jesus has accomplished for us. We can believe him for victory and for breakthrough because it has already been done. (See Is it Always God’s will to heal?)
When was the last time you praised God in the midst of the valley? What was the result?
Have a great day
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