February 20, 2020
When I give thanks, my thoughts still circle about myself to some extent. But in praise my soul ascends to self-forgetting adoration, seeing and praising only the majesty and power of God, His grace and redemption.
If we could only see the heart of the Father, we would be drawn into praise and thanksgiving more often. It is easy for us to think that God is so majestic and so highly exalted that our adoration makes no difference to him. Our God is not made of stone. His heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small. A cup of cold water is enough to put tears in the eyes of God. God celebrates our feeble expressions of gratitude.
The failure to return thanks for definite blessings received is a manifestation of ingratitude that grieves Jesus Christ.
Worrying is like praying hard for an outcome you really don’t want. Consider that when praying. Thank God, instead, for what His Word says he’ll do! Disregard the negative completely. Watch the results change!
I think we all sin by needlessly disobeying the apostolic injunction to rejoice as much as by anything else.
German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day – some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services. Yet living in a world dominated by death, Pastor Rinkart wrote the following prayer for his children to offer to the Lord:
Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
© 2000 by the author or Christianity Today International/Men of Integrity
A sensible thanksgiving, for mercies received, is a mighty prayer in the sight of God; it prevails with him unspeakably.
There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come?
What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all the benefits which He has given me? In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation He gave me Himself, and by that gift restored to me the self that I had lost. Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself. But what have I to offer Him for the gift of Himself? Could I multiply myself a thousand-fold and then give Him all, what would that be in comparison with God?
During Old Testament times a freewill offering was a completely voluntary offering. It was done in celebration of God out of thankfulness for what He has done for us, and for His people. And this is still the same for us today. However, the greatest freewill offering we can give our Creator is our hearts. We give our hearts to God through Christ Jesus our Lord and our faith in Him alone. And we do so with the utmost joy and celebration because of our love for Him.