Praising God when I am sad pleases Him. It shows I trust His Word and that I love Him without His doing everything that pleases me. It is a wonderful opportunity for blessing—just to believe!
It is also called a "sacrifice of praise" (Heb. 13:15). We sacrifice feelings, we sacrifice pleasure, we sacrifice time—just to praise God. And when we don't feel like it—when we are at a low point, we then really show a sacrifice of praise. In fact, the lower we are, the greater the opportunity to demonstrate a sacrifice of praise to God.
The Epistle to the Hebrews has a lot to say about sacrifices. They mostly refer to the sacrifice of animals. This is because the sacrifice of animals in the Old Testament pointed to the Ultimate Sacrifice—when God gave His One and only Son to die on a cross (John 3:16).
But sometimes the word sacrifice is used with regard to what we give up. Although the primary meaning of sacrifice refers to the slaughter of animals to appease God's justice, it also means to give up something for the sake of something more important. Hence Paul said, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship" (Rom. 12:1). David said, "I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the Lord" (Ps. 116:17).
When we take the time to praise God, we sacrifice time. We all can think of things we ought to be doing. It is easier to watch television than it is to take the equal amount of time to praise God. To praise God for thirty minutes is a sacrifice of time, of pleasure, of our basic wishes, and, possibly, of our temperament.
Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).