Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16 NIV)
God has been conditioning His people for centuries to respond favorably to Him in the midst of hard times. The fondest example we have of this is among the Israelites in the desert, and the way they complained and complained about what they did not have and could not do. They overlooked the fact that God had just rescued them from years of bondage under the mightiest rule in the land. That caused them to miss their blessing for forty years. Some of them never got to see the Promised Land, although it had been PROMISED them!
Depression is the brain’s response to mental stress. Like all other responses, it is either intrinsic (hereditary, just a part of your built-in character), or learned over time. The Good News is that our brains are created in such a way that they can be reprogrammed to give new responses in the same way you can reprogram a computer. You can train your brain to recognize stimuli and respond in a certain way. Know that God’s Promises to us are sure. He never starts something in us without completing it. He is the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end. Be assured that God has started a good work in you, one that He promises to see to completion. Regardless of what the facts say— the economy is a mess, you are unemployed, your relationship has failed- God is still in control and He says you have His favor!
What He asks of us is to offer Him a sacrifice of Praise.
A sacrifice is an offering (something you present as an act of worship) of something highly valued for the sake of one that is considered to have a greater value or claim. When we offer praise instead of complaints, we offer ourselves, and our pride, in exchange for the faith we have that God will do just what He promised in spite of the way things might seem. Praise takes our eyes off ourselves and off the problem and focuses our eyes on Him, the One From Whom All Good Things Come.
Amazing Faith was given to us so we can have Amazing Faith!