One evening a friend called. "I thought you had moved," I told her.
"We haven't sold our house," she said, her voice nearly breaking. "That's the reason we didn't come to church Sunday. We couldn't face all the questions we knew everyone would ask. Today we hit bottom."
While wondering what to say, I thought of the last verse of Psalm 50: "He who offers sacrifices of praise prepares the way for the salvation of the Lord."
Although it would not be easy, I knew I must say something about praising the Lord.
I mentioned the verse to her. "For you to praise the Lord at this time would indeed be a sacrifice, but a sacrifice prepares the way for God's salvation."
"What should we praise Him for?" she asked. "Should we thank Him by faith because He's going to help us sell it?"
"Begin by thanking Him for His faithfulness. Praise Him for who He is. Use the prayer in 1 Chronicles 29 or Daniel 2. In Psalm 22:3, God says He inhabits the praises of His people, so you will be in His presence as you praise Him."
We don't praise God simply because we want Him to end a difficulty. We praise God because we want to please and honor Him. Praise produces the atmosphere in which God's presence resides, and so we welcome Him into our circumstances when we offer heartfelt praise.
Thank You, Jesus, for making the way to welcome You into my situation so pleasant.
"Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name" (1 Chronicles 29:10-13).