A Heart of Praise

November 22, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Rachel Indihar –

Many of us have heard extraordinary stories of Christians. These are not the stories about Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who have two children (a boy and a girl), work successful 9-to-5 jobs, and attend church on Sunday mornings. Those stories are not inspiring because they remind us of our own lives!

The stories that truly encourage us are the real-life stories about Christians who risk their lives for their beliefs, live in the power of the Holy Spirit, and share the Gospel with hundreds (if not thousands) of people.

The problem is that many of us have believed that these stories are rare. They happen every 50 to 100 years to one person in one particular country. When we have this perception, we lose our passion for Christ and conform to the “Mr. and Mrs. Smiths” that the secular world requires us to be. How do we gain the passion and enthusiasm for Jesus Christ that people like Corrie Ten Boom, Billy Graham, and Hudson Taylor have possessed?

The secret may surprise you: It all has to do with praise. Not the typical “praise and worship” pop songs we hear on the radio that we like to sing along to, but praise as in I’m-consumed-with-the-Holy-Spirit, I-will-die-for-Christ, Christ-is-my-everything type of praise!

When we are filled with the spirit of praise, a miraculous thing happens: we stop focusing on ourselves! I’m convinced that the biggest hindrance in our Christian growth is an obsessive focus on ourselves. OUR needs, OUR time, OUR talents and interests. We want to praise God WHILE getting what we want in this life. Our selfish interests and ambitions have to die in order to fully gain Christ. When we stop focusing on ourselves, OUR desires become GOD’S desires!

The next time you are consumed by negative emotions, such as anger, envy, depression, or anxiety, instead of trying to “talk yourself out of” that emotion, try switching your thoughts entirely to God and praise Him for all of His blessings in your life. If you are struggling to create a list of blessings, you are forgetting that the greatest blessing is Jesus Christ Himself, who is all we need in this life and in the life to come.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strength you…so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me…I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Isaiah 45:5-7 NIV).

About Rachel Indihar

Rachel Indihar is a teacher and assistant director at a Montessori school for early childhood. Her passion for people (especially children) allows her to serve the Lord in a variety of functions, but her real love is for writing. She strives to honor the Lord in what she writes and encourages others through what the Lord has taught her.
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