Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving . . . The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me. (Psalm 50:14, 23 ESV)
On Monday we set out a definition for “a sacrifice of thanksgiving,” and I asked the question, “How are we to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving during those seasons when we don’t feel very thankful?” Today, on the day before we celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, we will discuss just how we are to live it out this command.
“A sacrifice of thanksgiving” lived out . . .
The only way to live out a true sacrifice of thanksgiving is to keep in view the sacrifice of our Savior. When we lose sight of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we begin to live more and more according to our feelings, desires, and expectations. At that level of living, praise and thanksgiving flow from us when we are feel that life is good, we are achieving our desires, and our expectations are being met. Yet, as we go through life as broken people inhabiting a broken world, we frequently feel that life is bad, that we are not achieving our desires, and we find ourselves facing unmet expectations. And that is exactly why we must keep the sacrifice of our Savior in view at all times.
The clearer our view of the cross work of Christ, the more we will live according to God’s perfect plan and purpose for our imperfect lives . . . which means that life frequently will not go according to our plans! Because God is God and knows what is best for us, He often causes us to walk down unplanned paths and through painful providences for two simple reasons: our good and His glory. I will grant you that many of those providences don’t feel particularly good or appear the least bit glorious. And it is during these times when thanksgiving is a sacrifice for the saints of God.
So as you prepare to celebrate another Thanksgiving Day, meditate on all that Jesus has done for you, and you will find yourself offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God, not only when the sky is blue, the clouds fleecy, and the sun brightly shining, but also on those days when the storm winds are blowing and the waves of challenge are crashing over you.
May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!