The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 6 - "At Your Own Will"
A gentleman once commented after hearing me speak on thankgiving, "If I don't feel like giving thanks, isn't it hypocrisy to do so?"
"And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will" (Leviticus 22:29).
While it is certainly possible to insincerely and vainly give thanks, we may actually offer our most meaningful expressions of gratitude to God when we least feel like doing so. Indeed, it is one thing to thank Him when the bluebirds of life are singing sweetly and all seems sunny and blessed. It is quite another to look toward Heaven with gratitude when our earthly lives seem dark and foreboding. We rightly rejoice in the former with offerings of thanksgiving that align with our happy emotions. However, the latter experience of giving thanks as a matter of faith and offering "at your own will" reveals a love for God and trust in Him that certainly speaks to a greater quality of devotion.
"I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving" (Jonah 2:9).
Thanksgiving often involves sacrifice. Through the leading and enabling of the Holy Spirit, we choose to overcome our fleshly emotions and physical sensations to thank our Heavenly Father for His promised presence, involvement, and working. While He takes no pleasure in administering or allowing the necessary difficulties of our present lives, we can be sure it blesses Him when we express our gratitude with hurting hearts. Moreover, we greatly honor Him by trusting His promises while not feeling their blessedness and assurance. "O my God, my soul is cast down within me. Therefore will I remember Thee" (Psalm 42:6).
The gentleman mentioned asked an honest question. The honest answer is that we most certainly can - and must - give thanks when we do not feel like doing so. No consistent walk of faith in this present life is possible without the trust that offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving when it is absolutely a sacrifice to do so.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
Weekly Memory Verse
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
(I Thessalonians 5:18)