It is easy to be thankful when things seem to be “going your way”. But, life is often and should be expected to be difficult. (John 16:33). Those difficulties often … sometimes more frequently than not .. challenge our ability to be grateful. But, we aren’t called to be grateful only in abundance. We are called to be grateful in want, as well. It’s called the “sacrifice of praise” and there is tremendous power in it. (Hebrews 13:15). Intuitively, "sacrifice" and "praise" seem to be opposites. It’s easy to be thankful when things are good. It requires no real sacrifice. But, there is tremendous sacrifice in being thankful when things are “bad”. It takes real sacrifice to offer God praise when you get that unwanted diagnosis … your finances are upside down … or your children are troubled. But, notwithstanding our circumstances we are called (commanded) to offer God praise continually … not just when you get that promotion. The sacrifice of praise is the gift of a humble and sometimes broken heart offered in spite of our circumstance … not because of it.
The real joy you experience today won’t be the direct result of being radically blessed. The real joy you experience today will be found in an attitude of gratitude that isn’t dependent upon the circumstances of your life. For those who find themselves challenged to be grateful by and for the circumstances of your lives, offer Him the sacrifice of praise. Understand, gratitude is a decision made by your head … that your heart will follow. For those challenged in this way today, I pray for your circumstance and that the knowledge that He loves you will be "enough" this day … and every day.