By Pastor Joe Jones

It easy to assume that since we have accepted a life with Christ that everything should be perfect.  After all He is perfect and “every good and perfect thing comes from the Father” (James 1:17).  Sometimes praising God is effortless, but often it is a sacrifice. 

Every one of us has faced challenges, great or small. In fact, we might be going through something difficult right now.  No matter how far we run, struggles will always seem to follow. There would never be a victory if we never had a battle.

As we read through the Bible, from story to story, we can notice a common theme.
The epic battles that were won on the field and the daily struggles that the men and women of God faced, all have a common denominator.  The victories that came as David wrestled with a bear, or took out the giant in the land; to personal struggles he faced as a King all hinge on one thing, a sacrifice.  The greatest gift Jesus gave to us was won with a sacrifice.  The power of life over death was accomplished by His sacrifice.  God has set the stage for us to live a life that is full of victory, full of reward, full of success but it has to be accomplished by our sacrifice to Him. 

When a sacrifice was given in the Bible it was always the best. The very best sheep was picked from the flock. It would have been easier for the shepherd to pick the weak or sick one to offer. However, this would not have been a real sacrifice if the sheep were going to die soon anyway. 

If we look deeper, the common denominator begins to be revealed.  The sacrifice was not the physical sheep; the sacrifice was giving up their own will.  God promised Abraham a son. Abraham, being around eighty years old, must have wondered if that son would ever be born.  Finally, his wife conceives a son and God then asks Abraham to kill his son as a sacrifice.  This man waited and waited for God to fulfill His promise and now is asked to give his son up. God’s desire was not to take away the son that He promised.  His desire was to honour Abraham as he sacrificed his own will, which would allow God to fulfill His covenant with Abraham and his descendants.  

Everything we have, own, or are given is all from the Father. The only actual sacrifice that we can offer to God is our will.   He desires us to be honest & vulnerable before Him. 

When we go through struggles in our lives, the victory is found in our sacrifice. One of the hardest things to do when we feel down is worship and praise God.  James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”   Begin to worship; begin to praise God; our breakthrough comes with our own sacrifice of praise.  This sacrifice becomes a powerful expression of honour to our King!  When David faced the giant Goliath he stood there and began to defy the enemy with his praise as he proclaimed the victory of God. 

God will deliver every victory, break every chain and provide us with every desire. As we continually lay down our will and begin to praise Him no matter what it may seem to look like.  Our praises touch the heart of God and creates an atmosphere for breakthrough and victory.

God’s desire for us is not to take away the promises in our life but to fulfill His covenant in us.  Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

Be encouraged!  Your sacrifice of praise and worship is powerful. You can move the heart of God, bringing breakthrough in life even in the midst of your greatest trials.