“I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”
In today’s verse passage, the psalmist voices his commitment to obeying the inspired imperative expressed elsewhere: “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing” (Psalm 107:21-22). In both passages, thanksgiving directed at God is considered a sacrifice. What is meant by this? When we give thanks, we lay self-importance and self-sufficiency on the altar. A truly thankful person is one who understands that what was received was neither earned nor owed. In the nature of the case, a thankful person is a humble person also. The Bible teaches us that humility is as commendable to the Lord as pride is abominable to Him (Proverbs 16:5). “God resisteth the proud,” wrote Peter “and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). The Scriptures document several instances where God blessed attitudes of gratitude in spectacular, even miraculous ways. The prophet Jonah, for instance, found himself in very dire circumstances indeed. From the inside of a great fish, the once reluctant prophet directed his desperate prayers toward God. Surprisingly, he began with thanksgiving! “I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving,” said the prophet, “I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9). God honored this humble prayer and Jonah was delivered miraculously from his nightmarish condition. Similarly, the prophet Daniel’s prayer of thanksgiving preceded his own miraculous deliverance from what appeared to be certain death (Daniel 6:10, 22). On more than one occasion, our Lord provided miraculously for thousands of hungry people. These stupendous miracles were also preceded by His giving thanks to God (Matthew 15:32-38; John 6:5-14). The miraculous conversion of lost sinners into saints of the Most High surely involves heartfelt gratitude towards God, Who has shown such favor to men. To put it negatively, a conversion without gratitude is no conversion at all. The heart of a truly born-again person is overflowing with love and gratitude for the God Who loved us first. “In every thing give thanks,” wrote the great apostle Paul, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As we strive to keep this command, let us do so with expectation and anticipation. Who knows what great things God will accomplish for us, in us, and through us when we choose to give Him praise and thanks no matter our circumstances? “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5).
God bless you, my friends!