by: Timothy Vazquez
Psalm 50:14-15 (NLT) “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
When someone does something for you, the polite and right thing to do is to thank them. If you hold a door for someone, for example, that person will probably thank you, and you are actually expecting them to do it. When they don't, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. One of your first thoughts usually is, "who does that person think he is, anyway?" To not thank someone when they do something for you is considered crass. But "thankfully," most people do stop and thank the person who has done something for them, no matter how small it is.
The thing about saying thanks is that it is usually something very easy to do. It's not a difficult thing and it is in no way an unpleasant experience, which makes you wonder what being thankful as a sacrifice is all about, as we read in the passage of scripture above. Being thankful for something that someone does for you is easy and it is the right thing to do, so why would it be a sacrifice? It would be a sacrifice if you are thanking someone for something that didn't go your way or that perhaps you didn't really want in the first place. But the Word of God tells us to be thankful for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and this being Thanksgiving Day, it is a good day to practice being thankful.
One of the things that we have done in the past in our family on Thanksgiving Day is to write down all the things that we are thankful to God for. That is a good exercise. But if you were to look at our long list of things that we are thankful for, what you wouldn't find are things that didn't go our way or troubles that we have gone through. But as I stated before, God tells us to be thankful in EVERYTHING. That means the good, the bad and the ugly. Being thankful when things don't go right or when trouble comes may not be easy, but it is a powerful way of demonstrating to God and to others how much you trust Him. In other words, you can be thankful for unfortunate circumstances when you truly believe what the Word of God says when it declares that EVERYTHING (there's that word again) works together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). If you are totally certain about the fact that God loves you and that we watches over you, then you can be thankful even through heavy trials because you can see beyond your circumstances to what the Lord will do for you.
Notice that according to the passage of scripture above, after your sacrifice of thanksgiving comes God's rescue plan for you. The Word tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and that according to your faith, it will be done to you (Matthew 9:29). Being thankful no matter what is having the faith to trust that God will take care of you and bring you through every bad situation and circumstance. As you give the Lord that sacrifice of thanksgiving, He will be sure to rescue you from your trouble. This Thanksgiving Day, try thanking God for things that you wouldn't normally thank Him for. Offer up a sacrifice of thanksgiving and you will be setting yourself up for God's rescue plan when trouble comes your way.
Pastor Joey Vazquez