Hebrews 13:15 (Amplified Bible)
“Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of the lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.”
A simpler translation is found in the Contemporary English Version:
Hebrews 13:15 (CEV)
“Our sacrifice is to keep offering praise to God in the name of Jesus.”
As a Christian, we should always live a life of praise and thanksgiving. Being a seeker of God it is not only a privilege but also our responsibility.
Worship and praise is the purest form of prayer because it focuses our minds and souls entirely away from ourselves and on to Him. What it communicates is pure love, devotion, reverence, appreciation, and thankfulness to God. It’s exalting God for who He is. It’s communicating our longing for Him. It’s drawing close to Him for the sake of being close. When we worship God, we are the closest to him we will ever be. That’s because praise welcomes His presence in our midst.
Praise is a declaration of who God is and what He’s going to do!
Praise is something that comes from within us… “I will praise God even in the midst of the storm.”
Praise is something that comes from without us… “I don’t feel like praising God, but I will because His word commands me to and I know He is worthy.”
Praise goes beyond our emotions and feelings and walks in obedience.
Obedience shows that we love God.
John 14:21 (NKJV)
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Praise is a beautiful thing
Psalm 33:1 (NKJV)
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”
It is a beautiful thing to see people praise God. I was a Worship Pastor for over 32 years. It thrilled me to bring people to the throne of God in praise and worship. It was a zone that I new I was created to do. Seeing people praise God fueled my spirit. When we would worship corporately, and un-abandoned, I never wanted to leave. It was a beautiful thing.
What does praise do?
-It pleases God’s heart.
-It gives God much pleasure.
-It takes our focus off of ourselves.
-It is a great weapon against the enemy.
How is praise brought forth?
- The Spoken word
We declare with our words who God is in our life, even when we don’t see the answer, God has all the answers.
-Speaking out loud who God is in a given situation helps you remember and also gets it into your spirit.
-It is heard in heaven, on earth, and in hell.
-It is a Decree! “I thank you God for healing me…..”
“I praise You Lord for being the God who sees me and You see me right now in the midst of my pain and trial!”
“I give You praise, Lord, for having a plan for my life and a hope and a future!”
We have to remind our selves what God can and will do in us.
2. Our Singing/songs
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”
“Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly.”
“Sing a new song to the LORD; sing His praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all that fills it, you islands with your inhabitants.”
Singing songs of praise is a release. It is a time of action towards God to lift Him high. It frees our spirit to soar higher to new heights.
3. Our Actions – Shout, Crying out how great God is. Corporate shouts of praise does a body good! Kneeling in humility or laying prostrate before God is showing praise. Obey God’s word is action because we want to please God’s heart.
4. Our Thoughts/heart/soul – what we think and plan in our hearts
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song.”
“My soul, praise the LORD, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.”
“Praise the LORD, all His works in all the places where He rules. My soul, praise the LORD!”
Sometimes we forget to praise God. Sometimes we forget how Good God is. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of both.
We are the only ones who can control the battle in our minds of any negative thoughts we may have about ourselves and our situation.
David reminded himself….
Psa 42:5 (MSG)
“Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God– soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.”
Praise and worship turns our focus to where it should be! We think about ourselves or things concerning us 24/7, surely we can live a life of praise and love on God as a lifestyle.
Praise should be such a part of our vocabulary that it spills out constantly.
I find myself constantly saying under my breath, “Thank you Jesus.” “I love you.” “Have Your way!” “You are so good.”
Praise will lift our spirits out of the mundane, out of the trial, out of depression.
ThanksLiving – Living a Life Of Praise
1. When I am troubled by Negative Thoughts and Emotions
Critical speech just cannot come out of a worshiper’s lips. Praise and critical speech
should not come from the same source. I prefer to give God praise then to criticize Him
or his creation (people or myself).
Whenever we express our love for God through praise and worship, we open up the channel through which His love flows into our heart. We invite His presence to come into our lives in a powerful way that, in the process, breaks down the strongholds of negative emotions. That is the hidden power of praising God.
Negative emotions are never God’s will for you. Praise and worship is one of your greatest weapons against them. This is ThanksLiving.
2. When I have Anxiety, Fear, and Discouragement
We all have experienced anxiety, fear, and discouragement at some point in our lives. What do we do when we are experiencing it?
Much of our anxiety comes from “What if” thoughts.
“What if we don’t have enough money to pay the bills and eat?”
“What if I lose my job?”
“What if terrorists come and try and attack the US again?”
“What if the terrorists come to my neighborhood?”
“What if something bad happens to my children?”
“What if my husband dies, what will I do then?”
“What if my past catches up to me?”
“What if I have cancer?
We all have our “What If’s,” the question is what will we do with those thoughts and feelings when they come? But God says to not be anxious about anything; Phil. 4:6 – 8 (Read from NKJV)
For me, I immediately start talking to God and say, “God I thank You that you are bigger then what concerns me!” “You are all powerful, all mighty, all knowing, and You are my hiding place.” “God You are in control of my life.” “I give You praise for Your eye is always upon me.” (Psalm 139) “Please give me strength to handle anything that comes my way.” “Please protect my family.” “Please shelter them from any harm.”
When God tells us to not be anxious bout anything, it’s not the same as someone telling us to “cheer up.” It’s not the same as when something terrible happens and a friend says, “Don’t worry.”
God is not just saying, “Forget about it.” He is giving us the solution. He says we should pray about everything and give praise and thanks to Him. When we do that, He promises to give us His peace that is beyond all comprehension. That means we will have peace even when it doesn’t make sense. That kind of peace will protect our heart and mind.
Praising God is the way to combat all anxiety, and it’s best to do it the moment you sense anxiety over anything. And then continue to praise God until all anxiety leaves.
Whatever your deepest fears are right now, bring every one of them to God. Thank Him that He is greater than any of them.
Fear will lie to you. It will tell you things that are not God’s truth for your life. Fear denies that God’s presence is fully active, and it cancels all hope and faith in God’s power to work in your behalf. But faith, prayer, praise, and the Word of God will conquer every fear. This is ThanksLiving.
3. When I struggle with doubt
Complaining instead of praising is a sign that we are not grateful to God and doubt His goodness and faithfulness. It shows that we do not believe God is really who He says He is. When we complain, we indicate we don’t trust God and fear He won’t come through for us. We doubt that nothing is impossible with Him. Our lack of faith puts up a barrier between us and Him, and we cut off the avenue by which He can bless us.
Praising God in the midst of times of doubt opens up the avenue by which a fresh infusion of faith comes into our souls. This is ThanksLiving.
Complaining is the opposite of praising! Complaining is really lifting up the enemy. When we praise we lift up God. When we complain we lift up the enemy.
4. When I don’t see answers to my prayers
When we praise God at the first sign of disappointment and loss of heart, He will open our eyes to the truth and help us see things from a perspective closer to His own.
When we worship God, we open the channel through which God works most powerfully to defeat the enemy on our behalf. We confuse the enemy and weaken him to the point he has to flee.
Even when all hope for our situation seems to be dead, praising God releases His resurrection life to flow in us. This Is ThanksLiving!
5. When I am attacked by the enemy
Praise is one of the greatest weapons of warfare found in the Bible. We must have a revelation of the power and purpose of praise and worship. As a believer, you should be worshiping and praising with the revelation of what you are doing and understanding its value.
Praise chases the enemy away. The devil hates it when we worship the Lord. It repels him and makes him miserable. It confuses him and makes him weak. It reminds him that he used to be the worship leader in heaven (Isaiah 14) and he blew it! That’s why he will do anything to divert our attention away from worshiping and praising God.
The enemy wants to take our joy away. He wants to make us take our focus off of God and His abilities and transfer our focus onto ourselves and our inabilities. The enemy wants us to feel overwhelmed and out of control. He likes to bring confusion and strife.
All of these things come when we take our focus off of God and onto our situation.
Along with praise, God’s Word and prayer are also mighty to use in battling the enemy.
“Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
One of the ways we submit to God is by worshiping Him.
One of the ways we resist the enemy is by proclaiming the Lord’s praises. God blesses us with His presence when we worship Him, and in His presence we are kept safe. This is ThanksLiving.
ThanksLiving is a lifestyle of gratitude.
ThanksLiving should be who we are 24/7.
ThanksLiving will propel you to your destiny and help you achieve what you were created for.
“Lord, I pray you would help me to live a life of ThanksLiving everyday, 24/7. I want to please Your heart and lift Your name on high with my words, thoughts, and actions. May my life of ThanksLiving draw all people to you as I know others look at me and are watching what I do. I thank You Lord for Who You are and I look to you daily for direction for every step I take in life. ~ Amen”
Pastor Kris Belfils