“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
Once upon a time there were two people living in a foreign land who got a package from Germany. When they went to the post office to pick it up, the customs official opened it and took out two packages of tea, the kind of tea that they really liked but wasn’t available locally. Smiling, he said, “You can’t have these; customs regulations!” And with that he put the tea into his desk drawer.
Now, how should these two people react to such random injustice? There are only two basic possibilities: to complain or to praise, and we all know which is correct. These two people took a moment to pray, “Lord, thank you for all the times tea did come to us and customs let it through. Thank you that this time you chose to have it otherwise.” Then those two left the post office with light hearts and good thoughts and had a really good day.
Praise is a wonderful responsibility that God has given us. It keeps us dwelling in the Truth, and, as you know, Jesus said in John 8:32, “…the truth will set you free.” Praise sets us free from the nasty so we can dwell on the nice, as Paul pointed out in Philippians 4:8 (think on whatever is true, noble and right, whatever is pure, lovely and admirable). Such thoughts make it easier to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving.