A Sacrifice of Praise

Written by Julie

On August 2, 2021

Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate… The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. …

Jeremiah 33:10-11 (KJV)

This is such a beautiful promise. Even in this place you thought would be desolate, there will again be heard joyful voices, praising God.

Desolate. Empty. Lonely. Unhappy. Bleak. Sorrowful because of separation from a loved one. Et cetera.

Even in that place. That situation.

There will be joy. There will be celebration. There will be “the sacrifice of praise.”

Sacrifice. Surrendering. “Giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy” (Google dictionary).

Praise sometimes–oftentimes–requires sacrifice.

We have to give up our time, our wants, our pride, our thoughts on how it should be or what God should do, our feelings, etc. . . . and praise.

So what if you feel like you’re running around like a chicken with its head chopped off (busy, in other words)? Praise.

So what if you would rather {fill in the blank. I’m going to put “spend time on technology,” since that’s what I’ve been struggling with a lot lately}? Praise.

So what if you’re afraid you’ll look foolish, or don’t want to accept that God knows/is so much better than you and doesn’t need your “advice”? Praise.

So what if you didn’t expect the incident to happen, or think that this relationship should go back to what it was, or want God to hurry up and make everything better? Praise.

So what if you’re sad, or angry, or not wanting to forgive, or worn-out, or confused, or all of the above? Praise.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Because it’s not. It’s hard to praise God when it’s been up-and-down-but-mostly-down or when you’re stuck in a lackadaisical rut or whatever.

Why? Why is it hard to praise then?

… When [God] has blessed us, helped us, and protected us, we feel generous toward Him. We can sing, worship, and talk about how good He is because we can see it. That kind of praise, although worthwhile, does not cost us anything. It is not a sacrifice.
Then there are those times when God did not come through the way we thought He would. … We can’t see His goodness, and circumstances scream that He has forgotten us.
To praise God in those times requires personal sacrifice. It takes an act of the will to lay our all on the altar before a God we don’t understand. When we bring a “sacrifice of praise,” we choose to believe that, even though life is not going as we think it should, God is still good and can be trusted…

“What does it mean to give a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15)?”

It’s hard to praise then because it costs us. We don’t want to surrender. We don’t want to sacrifice, to give up something (or several somethings).

But surrender is necessary. Two Sundays ago, the preacher said that surrender is a way to worship. It’s not just singing or praying or lifting our hands or dancing–worship is surrendering. We can’t truly worship God if we don’t surrender.

In my last post, I talked about the beauty of worship, on earth and in heaven. That beauty isn’t possible without surrender. Without letting go. Without focusing on God, choosing to trust Him.

We sing “We bring the sacrifice of praise” but do we really mean it? Do we praise even when it costs us, even when we have to sacrifice and surrender?

I’m just now realizing that it makes total sense to put “sacrifice of praise” in these verses.

Israel had been attacked and destroyed and was in captivity. Jeremiah was in prison. That’s why verse 10 is talking about this place that was thought to be desolate.

But then it talks about joy and gladness and the sacrifice of praise.

It cost something. There had to be surrender. Life didn’t make sense and hurt and was hard, and they were feeling all the things in paragraph 3 and then some.

But God was still good and trustworthy, even though they couldn’t always see it, even though life didn’t go like they wanted, even though their circumstances and flesh and enemy/Enemy screamed at them to believe otherwise.

It’s the same for us. The sacrifice of praise costs something. There has to be surrender. Life doesn’t make sense and hurts and is hard, and we feel all the things in paragraph 3 and then some.

But God is still good and trustworthy, even though we can’t always see it, even though life doesn’t go like we want, even though our circumstances and flesh and enemy/Enemy scream at us to believe otherwise.

He still is, and there is hope.

		
Julie

Julie

Hi, I'm Julie, a 16 year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a sophomore in high school (Abeka Academy), and am starting my second year of violin lessons. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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Brenna
Brenna
1 month ago

Amen. Because of who God is, we can rejoice and praise Him in surrender- He knows better than us … Thanks for sharing- I need this, the surrender, the abandoning of myself, and the whole-hearted praise to God alone.