I’m not what you’d call a ‘betting man’ (mostly because I’m not a man), but I would bet my future earnings (which isn’t looking promising) that we will all suffer hardship. In fact, it’s pretty much a sure bet because John 16:33 says in so many words that we will have trouble.
Hebrews 13:15, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.
I’ve been reading this verse today and I noticed something different. The part usually quoted is the middle, let us offer to God a sacrifice of praise. It’s true that we should give thanks (praise) in all situations but what stood out to me today as different was the last part: it’s the fruit of lips that confess his name.
The sacrifice of praise is the fruit of lips that confess his name.
For those that aren’t orchard farmers, let me share a biology lesson: fruit grows on trees. The tree produces fruit without having to strain or work hard to do it. It happens naturally as part of being a fruit-bearing tree. Likewise, as a Christian, it’s natural to bear fruit (John 15) when we are attached to the tree. And so, the sacrifice of praise is a natural outcome of lips that confess his name – Jesus.
I have personal trouble of the financial kind right now. On a scale of 1-10, it’s like losing your passport while travelling abroad. It will work out but it might cost you time and money to get back on track. Last night, I fell asleep without a problem, but woke up quite suddenly. The clock said 12:19. I had two opposite thoughts. The first one was an anxious thought about the problem I was facing and the second was a song that I couldn’t stop singing, I Exalt Thee. My Man said this morning that I was actually singing it in my sleep – go figure, I don’t sing out loud when I’m awake, ever.
I lay awake for a little more than an hour. I was tired and my mind was exhausted there seemed to be a war and my mind was the battlefield. Every time I started to think anxious thoughts, another part of my brain overrode it and started praising the Lord. Finally I fell asleep again and woke up completely rested and still singing the song. I’ve been singing it all day (and when I say sing, I mean in my head).
God is good, it’s my core belief and so as I confess the name Jesus as my only pray, the rest can be a sacrifice of praise. I’ve learned this, especially over the past year. How about you?