Psalm 4:5 “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.”
[In all things, including those that “make me angry,” (that is, actually reveal my own selfish agenda), I must make the right sacrifices, by trusting in you, O LORD.
It is so easy to do what comes by nature, to offer sacrifices that do not please you: to punish myself, deny myself to make myself better, try to earn your acceptance by my own “good” works.
In contrast, what are the sacrifices you desire? A major one is this: “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me…” (Psa. 50:23). Or as it is expressed in the New Testament, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb. 13:15).
This is what God desires, a response based on heavenly wisdom that honors Him with trust and faith. This means believing He has a good and loving plan for each of us and will use whatever He allows into our lives for good. Therefore, we can sacrifice our natural response to complain on the altar of trust, and instead praise in the midst of distress, thank in the midst of pain, delight in the midst of disappointment.
This is a right sacrifice, for it is done by faith, not by sight—and by offering this, all is transformed: suffering, disappointment, hurt, persecution, injustice, loss and difficulties–all become platforms for giving God glory, and bringing transformation in our lives.
As the Word says, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently search for him” (Heb. 11:6). Offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving is an act of faith, a wonderful way to please God.
No wonder Paul could say in 2 Corinthians 12:9,10, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Paul knew that praise brings power from God, that “he who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving…opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord” Ps 50:23b).
Paul knew this because God told him directly: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul believed this so deeply that when he had difficulties, he rejoiced, he got excited, he embraced them as positive: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties….” (2 Cor. 12:10).
Paul’s understanding of God’s character, of His way of working, of eternal Truth, of the “right-side-upness” of God’s Kingdom compared to the “upside downness” of this world’s, led him to say, “…when I am weak, then I am strong.” That is a “faith sacrifice” that God wants.
Lord, may I live that today, understanding the unseen so clearly that the power and truth of your Word may flow out of my life in responses of thanksgiving in whatever comes, in a sacrifice of trust that will bring delight to you!]