God’s gifts to us, part 2
Psalm 50:23 starts with “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving,” and continues with “…and prepares the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord.” Here we see the the second gift God has for us: the privilege of partnering with Him in bringing the solution to the situation.
As we give thanks in and for difficulties, we open the way (get out of the way) for Him to bring the resolution and results He’s planned and prepared. They 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.
A third gift that is bestowed when we give thanks, is the privilege to be a powerful witness to those around us. Our unnatural, supernatural response to troubles puts us right up on the stage of grace, in front of all those watching us, where we can do the dance of grace, trusting God and thereby bring a focus on God’s good character in a way that words alone could never do.
A fourth gift He has for us is that, in expressing gratitude by giving thanks in things both positive and difficult, we cooperate with God in improving our emotional, mental and physical health.
A secular article on NewsMax entitled “Giving Thanks Makes Us Happier,” points out research that an attitude of gratitude brings many benefits. A summary says, “Researchers delving into the physiology of gratitude have discovered it acts powerfully upon neurotransmitters in the brain to increase happiness, reduce stress, boost energy and even improve sleep.” Another benefit is that it strengthens our immune system.
This, of course, is simply discovering what God has told us all along: giving thanks is a powerful good for us, for all those around us, and for God.
These truths are reiterated in an article in the latest Reader’s Digest, entitled “The Goodness of Gratitude,” saying, “people who wrote thank you letters or performed good deeds for a six-week period decreased their pain, upped their energy, accomplished more every day, and improved their mental health for up to six months. And you can reap these benefits at any age.”
God’s wisdom is far deeper than we can imagine! It is our privilege to live in Psalm 50:23 and make every day a “Thanksgiving Day.” Do yourself and many others a good turn and offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving in each event, especially the ones you don’t like.