I remember so clearly reading the words in that little book.
“Joy is the sacrifice of praise.”
My breath caught hard and a small part of me began to understand what it is for the children of God to experience joy and to give thanks in all situations.
Because God never promised that joy would be easy.
Because God never told us the praise would be simple.
We are called to give sacrifices of praise.
We are called to lay down offerings of thanksgiving.
But sacrifices and offerings require death.
I must never think that I can give God praise and hold onto myself at the same time. Because it’s not a sacrifice of praise if there is no sacrifice of self.
There must be sacrifice.
Sacrifice of pride.
Sacrifice of control.
Sacrifice of independence.
Sacrifice of self.
If I am not willing to put to death these things, then I will not find the joy that can only come through sacrifice.
Am I wiling to die to find joy?
“Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. And I can empty. I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.”
Because we can only put death to ourselves and give life to joy when we trust God’s goodness.
So we trust that He is good and put our own selves to death and we offer very lives as a sacrifice of praise and the result is joy.
We are called to put ourselves to death and offer a sacrifice of praise to God, praise for His goodness in the midst.
And it is a mystery, yet I’ve found it to be true over and over in my life. When I stop in the midst of the stresses and the frustrations a and the pains to put to death my own desires and instead offer up praise, joy springs forth.
Have you found this to be true?
How do you offer up sacrifices of praise?