In Psalm 50 vs 14 and 15 the Lord says to the psalmist ‘Sacrifice thank offerings to God. Fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honour Me.
What is great about these verses, is that they come from a time over a thousand of years before Christ, and the Lord is saying to them that their sacrifices of bulls and goats aren’t what He wants, just their thanksgiving and the keeping of their vows to Him, and He will get them out of their troubles.
How often, when we are in a ‘tight’ spot, or a very ‘hot’ spot and feeling under pressure from one thing or another, do we ‘up our game’ a bit by making sure we:- have a quiet time, pray harder, do some witnessing or attend church meetings a bit more conscientiously. In our own way we try to earn God’s help by pleasing Him in the ways learnt on our Christian journey. Our equivalent of bulls may be?
These are all great things and definite ingredients in our growth as Christians, but sometimes they just might be making us feel more deserving of God’s attention and help when in fact what really draws His favour and help is something as simple as ‘thanksgiving’ in the moment.
The word sacrifice is significant in these verses because sometimes when we are in difficulties, giving thanks is the last thing we feel like doing. For various reasons it sticks in our throats, or we feel hypocritical because we don’t ‘feel’ thankful. Could that be a spiritual battle going on?
I do believe, incidentally, that our thanksgiving does give the devil a headache, but look how it is described at the end of the psalm in vs 23. We read ‘He who sacrifices thank offerings, honours Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God’. Wow. Who wouldn’t give thanks on that basis?!
My thanksgiving ascending to heaven is like throwing up a pathway down which the power and presence of God can come into my life bringing salvation into the situation. I do tend to see these things pictorially and I hope you can see what that picture conveys, or see in your own way, how powerful your thanksgiving can be.
In the old King James version that verse is translated ‘whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me; and to him who orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God’. We are not thanking Him for the trouble we are in but that He will work it for good in our lives. Thanksgiving is about having the right things coming out of our mouths. It’s about the confession of our lips that we believe God is ‘for’ us, that He loves us, that He is our saviour not just from our sins, but for life too.
In Deuteronomy chapter 30 vs 14 it says ‘The word is very near you, in your mouth and in your mind and in your heart, so that you can do it.’ AMP Bible. We can do this. We can make a choice to turn in thanksgiving to our God of deliverances and give Him the glory as He helps us in all our troubles.
It goes without saying that the help that He sends may be to get us out of trouble or to send us help in our troubles, like grace and wisdom. Either way it will be amazing and you will find yourself drawing closer to the Lord Himself.