“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, [says the Lord,]
and he prepares the way
so that I may show him the salvation of God.”
Psalm 50:23

In yesterday’s blog, we learned that giving thanks opens the way for God to show us His salvation (Psalm 50:23)

 But how can such a simple discipline have such a huge impact?

Supernaturally, of course! But there is logic to it!

 When we give thanks, it is an acknowledgement to God and the world, that all that we have comes from the Hand of God. It reminds us that we’re not the source of all the good that happens in our lives. That brings us to a place of humility. And that’s like an insurance policy against pride.

Both James and Peter quote Proverbs 3:34 when they wrote “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

When we give thanks, then, we are nurturing our humility and God gives grace to the humble. Developing a thankful heart puts us in a position to receive God’s grace. God’s salvation is found in the grace that He pours out on the heart that is humble.

When we strengthen our muscle of thanksgiving, it shelters us from the sin of ingratitude. It shows that we don’t take God’s gifts for granted. The act of giving thanks keeps us from becoming ungrateful.

When we give thanks, we are reminding ourselves of God’s constant faithfulness in our lives and that builds our faith.

The Israelites were instructed again and again to REMEMBER what God had done and to give thanks for it. They were instructed to teach their children what God had done. Why? Because it built their faith. If God had parted the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptian army and sure defeat, he could be trusted to beat any current enemy they were facing. If He had provided manna in the desert and made bitter water pure, He could be trusted to provide food those things in their lives again.

When we give thanks, we are reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness – and that brings hope and an expectation that what He has done in the past, He will do again in our present and in the future. I sure need that. I love the Lord and have faith that He is always with me, that all He does is for my good, that He will provide for my needs, that He will…you get the idea. Yet I sure need to remind myself of what he’s done in the past sometimes. When I’m tired or stressed or frustrated or discouraged or…again, you get the idea. At those times, my faith needs to be reminded that we’ve been here before and God has shown up in a mighty way. He always has. He always will.

There is at least one additional benefit of giving thanks – When we give thanks, we are being obedient to God.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thess 5:18 (NIV)

It doesn’t get much clearer than that – it is God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances. Not for all circumstances, but in all circumstances. There are always things to give thanks for, even in the worst of circumstances. And when we find those things (especially in the worst of circumstances), we are humbling ourselves, we are honoring God, we are and we are putting ourselves in a position for God to show us His great salavation.

Just as the ten lepers were being obedient as they went to show themselves to the priest (Luke 17:11-19), when we give thanks, we are being obedient to what God has told us to do. And the faithful God that we serve will bless that thankfulness, just as he blessed the obedience of the lepers.

God doesn’t just tell us to do things on a whim – He tells us to do things that are for our good – to teach us to live a life that blesses Him and that He in turn can bless. He commands us to do things because they’re good for us! So when we give thanks, we experience blessings beyond simply the assurance of having been obedient.

Tomorrow’s blog – The High Cost of Not Giving Thanks!

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