Worship can be expressed in various forms. Some examples are through music, tithes and offerings, responding to the teaching of God’s Word, and performing acts of service and mercy in God’s name. This verse suggests something else to me as well – worshipping God with my body even while suffering.
I am slowly learning to be aware of ways in which I can do this. As I endure the ongoing struggle with migraines day after day, I am trying to praise God for the ability He gives me to keep functioning through them. When the eye discomfort is so bothersome that I can’t read or use the computer or television, I try and listen to Bible study tapes or worship music. When pain keeps me awake at night I try to pray for others. None of these things are done in my own strength – it is all done by the power of Christ giving me not only the ability but the desire to do them.
There are many times when I don’t offer my sufferings as a willing sacrifice. Sometimes all I can do is sit in agony or despair and cry to the Lord, pleading for mercy and endurance. God understands that. But each time I offer my pain and suffering in an attitude of worship as a sacrifice on the altar of praise, God does something wonderful. Whether now or later, He turns the ashes of my offerings into beauty and gives me a garment of praise for my spirit of heaviness. Whether praising or crying, I want to remember that my body is God’s living temple, and regardless of its physical condition, it can be a beautiful place of sacrifice to Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a willing spirit to view my sufferings as a sacrificial offering to You, and show me ways I can do this through my specific circumstances. I praise and thank you Lord for accomplishing this through me. Amen.