Thursday, November 26, 2009
A Sacrifice of Praise
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.
In Acts 16 we find a beautiful story of two men who glorified God in the midst of some discouraging circumstances.
Paul and Silas had been arrested in Philippi for preaching the gospel. After being beaten with wooden rods, they were thrown into a dark, filthy, underground hole. Archaeologists believe they have discovered this dungeon, which was a small, windowless room with no sanitation facilities. Their shredded backs were exposed to the bare ground, and their legs were pulled as far apart as possible as they were put into stocks, which would have caused excruciating pain.
What would you do if you ended up in a situation like that? Here's what Paul and Silas did: "Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening" (verse 25). Now this was a sacrifice of praise, because there was nothing in their circumstances to rejoice about. How easily we could have read that they groaned at midnight. We would have understood that. Or, we could have read that they cursed the men who beat them and cursed the jailer. But instead we read that they sang praises to God.
When you are in pain, the midnight hour is not the easiest time for a worship service. But the Bible promises that God can give songs in the night. We are told in Psalm 42:8, "The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life."
There is something about the night that can amplify our problems. But we need to realize that God is in control both in the day and in the night. We need to offer our thanksgiving to Him at all times, in every circumstance.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.