As we saw in part one, Psalm 50:23 starts with “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me”–meaning that if we give thanks when we don’t feel like it, we fulfill the purpose of our lives, giving honor to God before the unseen hosts as well as the people around us.
The verse then continues with “…and prepares the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord.” Here we see the second gift God has for us: the privilege of partnering with Him in bringing about solutions, of joining Him in a way that He power can work in us and in our situation for good.
Paul echoes this principle in 2 Cor. 12:10 “…I will boast all the more gladly in my weakness SO THAT the power of Christ may rest in me.”
As we give thanks in and for difficulties, we open the way (maybe, get out of the way is more accurate!) for Him to bring the resolution and results He’s planned and prepared. These may come right away, or they may not be visible until years later, as with Joseph in Egypt. Whether seen or unseen, God moves as we give thanks in faith for what is painful for us.
This means that the opposite may also be true: when we complain we block the way for God’s work in our situation. For instance, in experiencing a painful relationship, when we complain things get worse; when we offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, we are helped with not saying hurtful things and help move things in a good direction.
As 1 Peter 1:5 says, believers,”THROUGH FAITH are shielded by God’s power….” As we trust, operating out of faith, we are protected; as we complain, we expose ourselves to attacks by the enemy.
A third gift God bestows when we give thanks, is the privilege of being a powerful witness to those around us. Our unnatural, supernatural response to trouble puts us up on the stage of grace where we can do the dance of faith in front of all those around us. As we trust God we bring a focus on God’s good character in a way that words alone could never do.
Thus God gives us opportunity to join Him in the spread of the gospel by walking in faith, in opening people’s eyes to spiritual truth, and in drawing them to Himself. Are we joining Him by offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving?