And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.
How awesome that there is a special day set aside specifically for giving thanks. That is as it should be. However, giving of thanks, so needs to be more than that. In the Bible, they were told that when they offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, they were to offer it at their own will. When we offer thanksgiving to the LORD, He wants us to do it at our own will. Not because we’ve been forced or coerced into doing so, but because we want to do it.
One of the earlier things we start trying to teach our children, even before their language skills have developed very far, is to say thank you. That’s because gratitude is so very important in life. We sometimes feel that if we had lots of this or lots of that, our life would be complete. On the contrary, if I don’t learn to be grateful for the small things, I will still be miserable and unhappy no matter how much I have.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It sometimes seems as if there is not one thing to be thankful for in the middle of some of the ugly situations of life we end up in. Nevertheless, we are commanded, in everything give thanks. Regardless of what is going on I can still be thankful that Jesus lives in my heart and is walking through the mess with me.
One of the great marks of maturity, is when I can have and display an attitude of gratitude in everything as commanded to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What Jubilee, freedom and peace that passeth all understanding when I can express and display thanksgiving at my own will, in everything, instead of having to be forced and coerced into doing so.
On this Thanksgiving Day let us sow new seeds of gratitude and thankfulness that will bear fruit everyday in the years ahead.