God’s Four Gifts to Us, Part One
What a kindness you have bestowed on us, Lord God, in calling us to give thanks in and for all things. You have a plan, you know what is best, no matter how it may look to us—like a leafless tree in winter–but full of possibilities. You work powerfully and patiently to bring goodness out of it at the right time.
Giving thanks in all is a privilege. It is God inviting us into a partnership with Him where He has at least four rich gifts awaiting us.
Psalm 50:23 shows us two of those gifts. “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me…” This sacrifice speaks of denying self, giving thanks when it is not natural, when it costs us. Note that this is not being thankful, which is an emotion, but giving thanks, which is an act of the will, often against what we feel.
This obedience of faith is a great means of glorifying God. When we give thanks in the midst of hurt, disappointment, suffering or loss, trusting that God has a plan and has allowed this for a good we cannot yet see, the angels stand in awe, the demons cringe in defeat, Adam’s descendants are amazed and God’s name is lifted on high.
Giving God such glory is the purpose for which we were created. So every time we find ourselves in situations where there is no solution, no discernible good, no visible positive point (as with the zoning board’s decision for me this week), we can choose to believe that God is good, at work and trustable–and we can demonstrate this trust by giving thanks in and for all things.
In doing so we are fulfilling the purpose for our existence (worshiping God) and doing something that will last for eternity. This privilege of giving thanks by faith is the first gift He has for us.
You, Lord, are the God who is more than we can imagine, more than what we could hope for, better than our dreams, beyond the understanding of our limited perspective. You are Great and Powerful, Glorious and Perfect, Gracious and Pure.
You are the fulfillment of the longing of our hearts and far more. Glory and honor belong to you alone! And we praise you for the privilege of giving you honor throughout each day by offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving. May we be consistent in doing that today.]