Let everything that breaths sing praises to the Lord. Psalm 150:6
Praising the Lord is not an option but what can we do when praise does not come easy? During William Cowper’s lifetime he had at least four profound times of deep depression, once so intense that he attempted suicide four times in one day. One of the first hymns Cowper wrote after that attack was, There is a fountain filled with blood.
David Brainerd, missionary to northern Canada struggled often with depression. In spite of that, God used him mightily to bring hundreds of people to Christ.
When Jehovah told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham took his son and went up the mountain. Abraham built an altar, laid the wood on it, tied up his promised son (born when Abraham was one-hundred years old and his wife, Sarah, was ninety-years-old) and laid him on the altar. Abraham had his knife raised, ready to make that sacrifice when God stopped him and revealed a ram caught in the bushes. God provided an animal for Abraham to sacrifice.
God’s people were plunged into despair and felt they had no reason to praise the Lord (Jeremiah 32:26 – 33:11). When they turned to the Lord He provided for their needs. In return, they brought the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.
When we feel that the Lord has asked too much of us, when we find it difficult to praise Him, we need to look around and see what God has provided. Sacrifice means ‘giving something up for the sake of something else’ (Webster’s). Christ gave His very life, the ultimate sacrifice, once for all, a sacrifice for our sins. There is nothing we can give back to Him except what He has already given to us. The Lord is our provider just as He was for Abraham. Jehovah-jireh, my provider has already provided.
Lord teach me to bring the sacrifice of praise to you for what You have done for me.
Help me to say the words even when my soul is troubled.