Sacrifices of Thanksgiving

THERE IS NO better way—in fact there is no other way at all—to live a true life of thanksgiving and praise to God than to lay down our lives in showing forth his praises. When we consider that all we have and all we hope for are ours by God’s grace, then we will know that our debt of gratitude calls for nothing less than the devoting of our all to him, no longer living unto ourselves, nor for ourselves, but for him. It is this thought that is expressed by David in those well-known words:

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the [sacrificial] death of his saints. O Lord, truly I am thy servant, … and the son of thine handmaid: Thou hast loosed my bonds [released me from Adamic condemnation]. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.”—Psalm 116:12-18

Again the psalmist calls upon us to remember the Lord’s goodness with thanksgiving, saying, “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.” (Ps. 107:21,22) How clearly does David here, as elsewhere, associate thanksgiving with the declaring the works of the Lord! This is a very practical arrangement. Had we received special favors from an earthly friend and wanted to show our appreciation by letting others know of his goodness, there would be no better way to do it than to tell of his works—of what he did for us.

And how wonderfully the Lord has favored us! What rich blessings he has bestowed upon us! And how grand are the promises he has yet to carry out for us, and not only for us, but also for the whole world. To tell of all his works it is necessary to publish the truth of his plan. Thus it is that in appreciation of what God has done for us, because his love calls forth our love in return, his people become the light of the world, “a city that is set on a hill [which] cannot be hid.”—Matt. 5:14

Trials Are Blessings Too!

As we count our many blessings we should not overlook trials which the Heavenly Father has permitted to come into our lives. If we had the choosing of our own experiences we would avoid the things which annoy, and vex, and try us. But God, in his great wisdom, sees that we need trials and in his love permits them. If our wills are wholly resigned to him, then we will be thankful that he is providing all our needs, even ordeals that are so necessary for the rounding out of our Christian characters.

Some of our trials may be permitted by God to test our faith and confidence in him. Others are to develop our patience and long-suffering. At times these may be in the nature of chastening from the Lord. In any case, they are permitted by our Heavenly Father who is too wise to err, and too loving to be unkind. Even though he may discipline us, it is in love, and our hearts should respond in grateful appreciation for this evidence that he is not withholding necessary experiences.

“In everything give thanks,” the Apostle Paul exhorts us in I Thessalonians 5:18. None but truth-enlightened, fully consecrated Christians can do this wholeheartedly. These know that nothing can come into their lives except that which is for their good. (Rom. 8:28) They know that they are the children of a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over their every interest. They have the assurance that even the most minute affairs of their lives—illustrated by the hairs of their head—are known by him, and directed according to his wisdom and love.—Matt. 10:30

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” is a promise which every Christian should apply to himself, and should believe with all his heart. (Ps. 37:23) If we are truly thankful for the manner in which the Lord is guiding our lives then we will not try to resist or to go contrary to his will. Instead, with a prayer in our hearts and a song on our bps, we will continue to pay our vows unto him, keeping our sacrifice on the altar until it is wholly consumed.

“He knoweth the way that I take: when he bath tried me, I shall come forth as gold,” said Job. (Job 23:10) God also knows the way we take, and he is trying us as gold is tried. This means that he puts us through the fires of affliction so that the gold of our character might be refined.

But how precious is the thought that the Great Refiner tempers the heat. He will not permit us to be tested above that which we are able to bear. If he sees that the heat is becoming so intense that we are apt to be injured, he provides a way of escape. (I Cor. 10:13) Yes, he knows and he carest (I Pet. 5:7) May this blessed truth become so thoroughly fixed in our minds and hearts that nothing will be able to disturb our inner peace and rest in him, and in his promises!

We have been blessed with the light of the knowledge of God. His “wondrous works”—the glorious doctrines of the divine plan—have enlightened us. We have a hope for the world and for ourselves. We have the assurance of divine care, of divine forgiveness, of divine help, and of divine discipline. All of these evidences convince us of divine love. Yes, we know that he cares, and that “no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”—Ps. 84:11

We enjoy this knowledge because “God is the Lord, which hath showed us light.” Shall we not then respond with thanksgiving, making melody in our hearts unto the Lord and sounding forth his praises throughout the land? Yes, let us thus offer the sacrifice of praise continually, and let us “bind the sacrifice with cords even unto the horns of the altar.”—Ps. 118:27

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |