by: Pastor Joey 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.”
If there is one thing that God makes clear to us through His Word, it's that we need to be thankful. Thankful for what? The Lord says that we should be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That sounds like a tall order, especially because a good number of our circumstances are not good. For example, if someone gets sick, how can they be thankful about that?
It turns out that thankfulness in everything is not possible unless you are a follower of Jesus and have had your eyes opened to the treasure that you have as an inheritance. Because you have the one thing that everyone in the world is searching for but cannot find, it is well with your soul no matter what happens in life. What the world is looking for is peace, joy, satisfaction, meaning and purpose. All of these things and more are found in a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. Once you realize that you were created to have a relationship with God, your whole perspective on life changes. You realize that you have been lied to by the voices of the world that told you that to be happy and thankful, you must have a lot of money and accumulate a lot of things. The voices say that to be happy, you must have a big house and you must be considered a success. But so many people have reached all those goals only to have a rude awakening to the fact that having a lot of things doesn't mean anything if you don't have peace and if you cannot fill that hole in your soul that nothing seems to be able to fill. That space in your soul can only be filled by Jesus. Once you have a relationship with Jesus, you really do have everything. Once you know that you have everything, then you can be thankful in all circumstances.
Notice that the scripture passage above says to make thankfulness your sacrifice to God. That means when things are not well and when circumstances are not good, you offer thanks to God as a sacrifice, even though you would not normally give thanks for those things. But you can give thanks because you know that you are not alone and that God has a reputation for making all things work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). So no matter what things look like, God will either deliver you from your circumstances, through your circumstances, or will change your circumstances. In the end, we win. And if things get really dicey, meaning that you have reached the end of this life, then you can give thanks that death has been defeated and that you will live with the Lord Jesus in heaven for ever and ever. Knowing that in your heart makes you truly thankful! Being thankful will keep your heart strong and will enable you to live according to God's Word and as a bonus, that thankful heart will draw God's presence to you always, but especially when you are in trouble. We are in a win, win situation with our God and that's plenty to be thankful for! When you realize all that you have in Christ Jesus, then your sacrifice of thankfulness is not really a sacrifice at all. It becomes an expression of immense gratitude to our loving God for all that He has done for us! Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!
Pastor Joey Vazquez