*written by my Mommy, Betty A. Key
Eph. 5:20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Give thanks for everything” - sounds like that means the happy and the not so happy. You know there is a sacrifice in there somewhere. Yes, we are overflowing with thanks at the unexpected check in the mail (and I ain’t mad at ya); the brand new vehicle (at least new to you) and I praise God right along with you. But have you ever had that situation, that season when giving thanks was a sacrifice: when a dream died, when you were passed over for that promotion...again; when the doctor’s report wasn’t as good as you expected; when there is way more work and a lot less time and resources to get it all done. Yes, I do believe those are the kinds of times that call for a “sacrifice” of thanksgiving. Saying “Thank You, Lord” during in that moment didn’t come easy, if it came at all.
Sacrificial thanksgiving is required of a disciple of Jesus especially when the answer to prayer is NO; I mean, not even a Not Yet, but a flat out No. Don’t go so spiritual on me and say you can’t remember the NO to THAT THING you wanted so badly. The one where you ask, God, did you really just say uh, uh? But then we remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus didn’t get a pass when He asked if this cup could pass. In fact Jesus knew what He came to do and that answer of “No, my Son, caused Jesus to sigh heavily. His humanity was showing right then. In fact He asked three times, and the answer was the same. Jesus reconciled his response with the example we must follow: Father, not my will but thy will be done. That’s how we offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving – in and for all things- by looking to the Father for His will to be done, recognizing that His will is way more than we can ever fathom.
Here are thoughts that might help:
1. Remember – Father, I thank You for working on my behalf before and that You are doing so now.
2. Recognize- Father, I know that You love me and will use this experience to strengthen me for the future.
3. Resist – Father, I choose to resist the very natural urge to cry “Woe is me!” Instead I will cry out “Whoa!” to this merry-go- round world. “It’s me and I am a survivor and a conqueror through Jesus”
When we die to wanting what we want, when we want it, how we want it we can be open to experience the exceeding abundance of God in the midst of the mess. Oh, be sure, every now and then life will throw some unexpected curves and bumps (large and small). We may stumble and fall, but gratefulness won’t let us stay there. Thanking God in those times unlocks our spirit to see the good He’s working in us and for us. The wonderful Light of the presence of Jesus shines on us, in us and through us when we offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. And our sacrifice of thanksgiving song may sound much like Rev. 7:12
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”