Summary: The benefits of praise and thanksgiving
Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving
Have you ever heard of Michael J Fox? Family Ties- Back to the future.
He also has Parkinson’s Disease. He’s had it for about 10 years,
and its getting progressively worse.
He said in his book that "if you made a deal with God that he would take away my Parkinson’s disease and cancel out the last ten years of my life, I would tell you to take a hike. My life is so good now. I’m helping a lot of people cope with the stigma of this disease. And it makes me appreciate life as a precious gift."
We’re all amazed
when someone with a debilitating disease
can have such a positive attitude,
and actually thank God for it.
That’s hard for us to understand, isn’t it?
How can you thank God,
when things are going badly in life?
There’s an Christian author named Frank Foglio,
who tells about how his daughter was injured in a car accident.
Her brain was severely damaged, and despite hundreds of people praying for her, her condition grew steadily worse.
Finally she had to be placed in the hopeless ward of an institution for the mentally ill. 7 years after the accident, things had not improved. In fact his daughter had once clawed her way out of a straitjacket and tried to hang herself with a bedsheet.
The absolute hopelessness of the situation had started to take its toll on Frank, and his faith started to waver.
On one very difficult journey to the institution, Frank was arguing with God.
"How could You be a God of love? I wouldn’t permit such a thing to happen to my daughter if I had the power to prevent it. You could heal her. But You won’t. Don’t You love people as much as even I do? You must not."
Frank felt his anger rising against God.
"Praise Me," a Voice said to him. "What for?" Frank replied.
"Praise Me that your daughter is where she is."
"Never!" he spit out. "I would rather die than do that."
God had no right to ask him to praise Him, when God wasn’t doing His own job of showing His love for people.
The Voice said again, "Thank Me that your daughter is exactly where she is,"
Frank said, "God, I couldn’t praise You if I tried. And I’m not going to try, because I don’t believe I should."
As Frank continued toward the mental home, the Holy Spirit worked in his heart, and he felt his attitude begin to soften. He said, "Well, God, I would praise You if I could - but I just can’t."
A little further along, he confessed, "I would praise You, but You would have to help me."
After arriving at the institution. Frank went through the procedures to get clearance to get into the most restricted part of one of the buildings. It always took a long while to get into his daughter’s ward. Sometimes, he wondered why he continued to come. His daughter didn’t recognize him. She didn’t know him from a stone on the ground.
Finally, Frank was in the last waiting room, the one that separated him from the ward. One steel door remained to be opened. Standing before it, Frank Foglio heard the calm and firm voice of God one more time:
"Thank Me that your daughter is exactly where she is."
Frank, finally whispered his surrender:
"Okay, God. I thank You that my daughter is where she is. I know that You love her more than I do."
At that moment a vaguely familiar voice cried out, "I want my daddy, I want my daddy."
The attendant opened the door, and Frank raced to his daughter’s compartment. Clothed in her right mind, she threw out her arms and embraced her father. Nurses, attendants, and guards gathered around in disbelief and joy.
Goes on – Daughter was able to come home that day, after 7 years.
Why would God ask someone
to praise Him for a terrible situation like that.
We’re going to try to figure that out today.
This message may stretch you a little.
it’s a little deeper than what we sometimes cover on Sundays,
Some of you may not really understand it,
I’m not sure I really do completely,
but some of you’ll get it.
We’re in a series on the greatest Psalms,
and today I want to look at Psalm 50.
If you have your bible turn there.
Psalm 50 NAS
(Prelude, vs. 1-6 Summarize – God has something really important to say, so you better listen up)
Vs. 7-13 (God’s message to his followers)
7 "Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God. 8 "I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me. 9 "I shall take no young bull out of your house, Nor male goats out of your folds. 10 "For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. 11 "I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all it contains. 13 "Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of male goats?