Bosworth brought to the reader's attention that while Jonah was in the belly of the big fish he spoke with God and prayed for mercy~ to be saved, and even though he did not have visible proof that his prayer was answered, he STILL gave a sacrificial praise of thanksgiving for his deliverance. He firmly believed before he saw the results, lifting up songs of praise to God.
In Hebrews 13:15 we are told to continually give this sacrifice of praise. Hebrews 13:15a says,
"Therefore let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God,
proclaiming our allegiance to His name."
This verse brings me back to Bosworth's words that Jonah gave thanks, worshipping and rejoicing BEFORE he had seen God's mercy on his life. I could only imagine that this was really tough to do. Here you are spending three days in the velly of a whale for your disobedience to God, thinking your life is over. You are begging God for mercy, but not seeing it...nope..no light yet...just the inside of a big ol' smelly fish. Just maybe it was hard to give thanks before he was spit out of the whale with whale puke all over him!! Maybe it felt like a sacrifice to him!
From the scriptures, we know we are to give this kind of praise continually. All the time. No matter what our circumstances. No matter how hard it is to get those words out of our mouth or lift our hands high...we need to let go of our own feelings and surrender to God, believing His best is yet to come. We may need to wait months or even years for an answer to manifest. Our praises keep our focus on God, our Provider and our Healer and remind us that God is working on our behalf behind the scenes...beyond what we can see or feel.
The past few months God has been speaking to me about praising Him. I went back to writing in my gratitude journal, and spending time giving thanks at the beginning of every prayer to Him. Still God kept bringing to my mind the idea of praising Him. Then I came upon the words...sacrifice of praise......and I began to ponder if this is where God was leading me. Was there a piece missing in my prayer life...a piece between asking and receiving?
I found myself wondering just how do we keep going when life knocks us down. Just how do we overcome our fears and our worries. Just how do we wait patiently for God's answers. We know God LOVES us. He wants the best for us. He tells us if you ASK you shall RECEIVE. So what happens if there is a period of time....an empty space between the asking and receiving? I think, in obedience, we fill it up with praise. Giving thanks for God's promises ~ believing and rejoicing. We give to God our own sacrifice of praise!
Stop over and visit Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays to read inspirational posts or link up your own.