Friday, September 21, 2012

Choose to rejoice no matter the circumstances.

He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen ...Deuteronomy10:21.

Any of us can sing on a good day. If your team wins, your stocks go up, your birthday present is terrific, and it doesn’t rain on your vacation, then sure, we can sing.  But that kind of good-circumstances-laughter is ordinary. What Paul and Silas had -- and what we can have – was extra-ordinary. Extra-ordinary joy rejoices no matter what happens to be going on at the time, even if the heart is breaking right in the middle of the song. None of us can escape the sharp pain or crushing grief in some of life’s worst circumstances, but any of us can, even in that hour, choose to rejoice.

Paul and Silas did, in that Philippian jail.  God heard and so did everyone else around them and through that example, some of those prisoners lives had to be touched.  As a result of Paul and Silas’ praise and worship to the Lord, and by the Power of Almighty God, one prison guard and his entire family believed because of Paul and Silas and their praise.  God received their praise and caused an earthquake that shook the whole prison and loosened the chains and opened all the cell doors.  Every prisoner was set free.  I think He was happy with their sacrifice.

It’s both good news and bad news that in that hour of difficulty, people are watching and listening more than ever to know if your faith in Christ is genuine. To put it simply, they want to know if your faith works. Anyone’s “faith” can work on a good day, but when the chips are down, they’ll know whether or not your faith is the real deal. And they’ll watch very closely.

Therefore, you must not go into that hour of crisis without a genuine, maturing faith. The knife of great pain and stress will cut right through the fat of a faked faith, and search with a surgeon’s accuracy for the core of what you believe. You’ll only be able to rejoice in a difficult hour if your relationship with God is real.

A Sacrifice of Praise
Praise and worship offered during a time of pain and crisis is definitely a sacrifice.  It is not something that we feel like doing when everything is going wrong.  We may not even feel the truth of the words we sing but there is a healing that takes place when you can sing praises to God through the pain and in spite of the tears running down your face.  It says to God that you believe, even though your world is crashing down around you.  It says that God is good all the time.  I have seen that particular saying in many places and I have to say that sometimes I just say to myself “humph” when I see it because I am human and when my life is full of pain, it doesn’t always feel like God is good.  Also when you offer this sacrifice of praise it says I believe that God is in control. He is going to handle this and give me the strength and direction I need to get through this. 

If you can still worship the Lord when you have nothing, when you are still suffering, when your body is filled with pain and your heart is aching, when you have no money and the bills are mounting, when you’re lonely and you seem to be attacked on all sides, IF you can STILL WORSHIP THE LORD when all you have is your FAITH while seeing no physical evidence of change, when all you know is that HE SAID, thus HE WILL DO IT according to HIS WORD, then the sound that comes forth from your lips are that of a TRUE WORSHIPER and the Lord will SURELY bless you , for THIS IS “THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE.”

Scripture to Claim:
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  Hebrews 13:15

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