The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 4 - The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
When we least feel like giving thanks, we most need to do so.
"I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Psalm 116:17).
Happy times of blessing offer a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude to God. He bestows "every good gift and every perfect gift upon us," and is thus worthy of our expressions of thanksgiving (James 1:17). However, the pains, challenges, and difficulties of life provide no less an opportunity for gratitude to the One who promises His involved presence and working in the valleys as well as on the mountaintops. If we could better see His hand at work in the hard times of life, we would realize how purposefully and powerfully He fulfills His loving purposes as our "very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
Actually, we can see His hand in a way that leads to thanksgiving in difficulty. The pages of His Word offer this light of assurance and hope. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). From Genesis to Revelation, the chronicle of our Heavenly Father's relentless and incessant working of "all things together for good to them that love God" illuminates all who open the pages of Scripture and the eyes of the heart (Romans 8:28). The brightest light of such truth shines forth from Calvary, where the death of the Lord Jesus Christ became the prelude to resurrection, salvation, and newness of life to all who believe. Those who experience the grace of such darkness becoming the Light of our lives give thanks over and over and over again for our Savior's sacrifice. In this light, we see God's greatest working in sorrow, hardship, and difficulty. Thus, we can see His working in the challenges of our lives. And we can give thanks, or as the Psalmist rightly termed such gratitude, "the sacrifice of thanksgiving."
Such faith plays an important role in our walk with the Lord. Gratitude offered only on the mountaintops reveals a shallow devotion and understanding. Gratitude offered also in the valleys, based on our love for the Lord and knowledge of His truth, reveals a depth of confidence that must characterize every believer's response of faith. Our Father works His purposes in the uplands and lowlands of our lives. He is worthy of our gratitude in all, including the many times when we least feel like offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving, but when we most need to do so.
"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
(I Thessalonians 5:18)
Weekly Memory Verse
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
(I John 1:3)