Throughout my life, whenever I faced a trial, my mom would quote Hebrews 13:15 to me. It reads, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise....” While she lavished her love and compassion on me, identifying with my pain, she would not allow me to wallow in self-pity for too long. Though I always expected it, I did not always enjoy hearing her gentle rebuke from Scripture. But she was always right, and those words renewed life in my weary soul. Real, genuine praise always requires a sacrifice. Praise is God’s antidote to the pain.
Through God’s enabling power, we must make a conscious decision to be faithful to His call, surrendering all in life that we hold dear, because we clearly perceive that Christ is supremely more beautiful and infinitely more worthy than anything that this life has to offer. We must not be afraid to dwell in the midst of our pain, stare it in the face, and at the top of our lungs scream that God is good at all times regardless of our circumstances! It is only here—in the place of paradox, dwelling in our pain while clinging to the goodness of God—that our hearts will find the rest, contentment, hope, assurance, and peace that Christ has intended for us.