A Sacrifice of Praise

May 21, 2018 Bethel Admin

-by Dave Kinsey
Sacrifice: an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
Praise: the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.

Recently I was reading through the “prayer” section of a hymnal in preparation for Awana Canada’s Day of Prayer. I noticed that many of the hymns were about coming to God in prayer because of our needs. For instance, in the song “Leave It There,” we are encouraged to “take [our] burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

What struck me in yet another hymn was the phrase “a sacrifice of praise.”

Teach me to trust ‘mid all life’s tangled ways,
In all its disappointments and delays;
Give me a song—a sacrifice of praise!
Teach Me to Trust
Words and music by John W. Peterson ©1954

What is there about praise that makes it a sacrifice? In the context of these hymns, so many of which talk about our trials and tribulations, bringing praise to God means we have to give up thinking about ourselves, give up feeling sorry for ourselves. It means to stop nursing our wounds, however real they may be. And instead to turn our attention to the one who bore all for us. It is then that our songs of praise become a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

Through him [that is, Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV

It is easy to praise God when all is going well. It is a sacrifice of praise when we choose to express our respect and gratitude to Him in worship when it is not. At least that’s what I think. What do you think?