Have you ever thought about the scriptures that tell us to "bless the L-rd?" Like Psalm 100 or Psalm 103. How can we bless the L-rd? We who are nothing without Him? What have I got to bestow a blessing on the L-rd?
It didn't take long meditating on this question years ago when I was thinking about this to realize the answer..... the only way we can possibly bless the L-rd is to bless Him with a heart of thanksgiving. A heart of gratefulness. That is all we have to give Him.
And have you ever wondered why Hebrews 13:15 says to offer a "sacrifice" of praise? Why should praising the L-rd who gave us life be a sacrifice?
I think the answer to that last question is that our flesh doesn't want to. Our walk on the narrow road leading to life seems to be a constant battle against the flesh.
Lately my flesh has been getting me down. Down into a pit of pity, despondence, depression, and discouragement. And I know the best cure for those feelings is gratefulness.
There is ALWAYS something to praise G-d for no matter what is going on in my life. I have learned through my 55 years on this planet, in this skin, that there is definitely ALWAYS, without a doubt, something to praise G-d for even in the direst of circumstances.
Even during the Holocaust in the concentration camps, many jews came to realize that the Germans could not take everything - they could not take away their hope. The hope that we only have in G-d Almighty. So even in a circumstance when they were stripped of everything material and even their dignity, they had hope. And scripture tells us that hope does NOT disappoint. Romans 5:5
My circumstances are certainly nothing to compare to a holocaust so it should be easy for me to praise the L-rd and get my eyes off of my circumstances and my flesh. Oh L-rd, please forgive me.
As I've been meditating on these thoughts I realized that though I feel like I have been running from G-d, He has not gone anywhere. In fact, I realized that I cannot run from Him. He is attached to me; I cannot go anywhere that He is not there. I instantly thought of this Psalm and the truth of these words penetrated my sin-crusted heart.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
So today I stand up against my flesh who wants to destroy me. I choose to prasie and bless my L-rd with a grateful heart and rest in His arms instead of running from them.
Search me, G-d and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.