Hymns of Hope: Introduction

Hymns of Hope: Introduction

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me.” -Psalm 50:23

Suppose a woman with arthritis in her hands knitted a blanket for you as a thank-you gift. The gift would mean more to you than if it had been made by a woman with nimble fingers. Why? Because the arthritic woman expended extraordinary effort. Her expression of thanks involved cost and sacrifice. You’d take into account the extra hours she invested and the pain she endured with every stitch. Most likely, you would be moved by this. Her suffering “glorified” her gratitude, making it more valuable in your eyes.

If we as humans respond this way to sacrifices, how much more is God enthused when we sacrifice offerings of praise to Him? We offer sacrifices of praise when things are hard. When the pain defeats us. When trials sandblast us to the core and our bruised feelings scream. When our weary mind is too clouded to see through the fog. When your wake up call comes too early and your alarm clock is pain. When broken in body and weary in spirit— this is the very time to press in and worship Christ.

True, such worship involves cost and sacrifice- it costs us our logic and forces us to sacrifice our pride. But our sacrifice of praise is glorified as we press through the pain to present praise and gratitude to God for His blessings.

Worship is healing. When we choose to worship the One who both gives and takes away, and who remains our Savior in either circumstance, it brings peace. It forces our eyes off of ourselves, off of our circumstances, off of our pain, and helps us to focus on Christ. Worshipping in pain ultimately brings us into closer communion with God. He is worthy of praise and worship in every circumstance. He is glorified through our sacrifice.

Throughout history many a saint has chosen to worship Christ amidst adversity. Many of our well loved hymns have been composed during times of great trial and loss. Throughout the next few weeks, I will be diving into the history of some of these hymns, sharing the beauty of these “sacrifices of praise”. I have entitled this series “Hymns of Hope” and I pray you are encouraged reading of those who have gone before us wielding their pens to praise Christ while enduring great personal hardships. May you be strengthened through these upcoming stories to worship the Lord, singing sacrifices of praise as you walk through the trials of this life.

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