Since this year’s theme is, “Give Thanks“, I have been keeping a running list of all the times I come across that phrase (or thanks, thanksgiving) in God’s Word. Recently, I came across a couple of verses that talk about a sacrifice of thanksgiving. I don’t know that I would have put those two words together, sacrifice and thanksgiving. But, I am beginning to understand a bit more about what that might mean.
As we walk out this adoption journey, especially during the Waiting Room season, it does feel more like sacrifice as we choose to keep giving thanks. The other day, I felt a tug to give thanks for the hurt and loss we have experienced. Believe me this had to be a supernatural thing. I would not naturally give thanks for difficulties, especially losses. But, I am starting to realize that these are a gift somehow; refining us and shaping us in many ways. So, I gave thanks. It felt right and good and weird, but I really was thankful. That in of itself made me praise God; for I could never muster these “feelings” on my own. As we are counting the grace around, even the hard stuff, He is working thanks into fiber. Such a long way to go, but so grateful for this gift.
Psalm 50:14 & 23 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
Offer Jesus thanks today… offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. You may not feel like it…but, as a friend told me once, it is not sacrifice if it doesn’t cost you something. It is sacrifice when you feel the giving deeply, when you give up something, you offer something precious.
Lately, I have been realizing that I don’t like to sacrifice my time. But, it’s really not “my time” is it? So, I am challenging myself, asking the Lord to help me, to be faithful with my time. Ahh, so hard for me. I know I can’t do it with my own motivation, desire, etc., this has to be something that He does and helps me with (for “apart from Him I have no good thing”- Psalm 16:2).
This time of waiting is really hard. But it is a good thing; it is producing good fruit in our lives, our children’s lives, the lives of those around us. It is challenging, but somehow I am thankful for it. Oh how sweet it will be when the time comes for us to hold this baby we have been waiting for. I don’t want to waste this time, but use it as a sacrifice, giving glory to God.
Psalm 56:12 & 13 “I am under vows to You, O God; I will present my thank offerings to You. For You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
In Psalm 50 and Psalm 56 the author talks about how yes, we should offer sacrifice and offerings of thanks, but more importantly we do this because He has saved us (not saved us from hardship but saved our spirit from death; if we believe in Him as Savior and make Him Lord)…not giving thanks because of what we may or may not receive from Him; but simply because He has saved us from sin. He has restored us to a relationship with God because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.
So, why do you give thanks? Because you hope you get what you want (circumstances) or because of the Lord Himself? I am asking myself this question as well. What is the object of your worship? Right circumstances or a relationship with God Himself? He delights to give us good things, but the point is so we will worship Him, not those things (as wonderful as they may be).