Psalm 4:5 “Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.”
[In the midst of all things, including those that make me angry (actually reveal my own selfish agenda), I must make the right sacrifices that please you, O LORD. It is so easy to do what comes by nature, to sacrifice things that do not please you, to punish myself, to try to earn your acceptance by my own goodness (as if I had any!), by my own wisdom and strength. But to obey you is far better in offering right sacrifices it is both far harder and far higher.
What are the sacrifices you desire? One is this: “He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me…” (Psa. 50:23). “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 calls for, the response that honors Him with trust, faith and heavenly wisdom: to praise in the midst of distress, to thank in the midst of pain, to delight in the midst of disappointment–this is a right sacrifice, for it is done fully by faith, not by sight—and by offering this, all is transformed: suffering, disappointment, hurt, persecution, injustice, loss and difficulty all become platforms for giving you glory, Lord.
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). So offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving is a wonderful way to please God.
No wonder Paul could say in 2 Cor 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.” 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.”
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 earth that he could say, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” That is a sacrifice that God wants.
Lord, may I live that today, seeing 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 that will bring delight to you!]