“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name”- Hebrews 13:15
There’s a great song in the body of Christ which goes, “When I think of His goodness and what He’s done for me I want to dance, dance, dance all night, all night!” There’s just something about being grateful which releases us into His joy and blessing. King David must have been experiencing this sense of gratitude and blessing when he wrote Psalm 5. “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou LORD will BLESS the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield”.
Have you taken time lately to thank the Lord for what he has done for you…I mean really thanked Him…from the depths of your being? I believe that when we bring the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name that we entering into a revelation of faith which establishes us in the blessing of God.
In Luke 17 we read of ten lepers who lifted up their voices crying for mercy…Jesus did something so marvellous and gracious for these lepers…he healed them. All ten were cleansed. Can you imagine what must it must have been like for them to be free from the terror and stigma of such a disease? They would have been ecstatic, full of joy unspeakable and full of glory. You would think that there would be some jumping and leaping and praising God. Look what happens next. “And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed. And ONE of them , when he saw that he was healed, turned back , and with a LOUD VOICE glorified God…and fell down on his face at his feet, GIVING HIM THANKS…and Jesus asked him,” Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Arise , go thy way: thy FAITH hath made thee whole”.
Our faith is essential to offering up praise and thanksgiving. “Without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6).
It takes faith to rise up when everything looks down. It takes faith to dig deep in times of despair and choose to encourage yourself in the Lord. It takes faith to lift up holy hands; letting go of the anger and bitterness which has been stealing your joy. It takes faith to look at your blessings rather than your problems. It takes faith to worship God when the crowd has left you and you are alone with Jesus. It takes faith to return on bended knee with a grateful heart and lift your voice to God. The leper knew that Jesus delivered him from a horrendous slow death. He experienced deliverance from loneliness, hopelessness’ and despair. One moment he was a leper and the next he was healed. His heart was filled with gratitude and his mouth was filled with praise. Such is the way of faith.
At times we fall into the trap of complaining, and it is just that, a trap. It will keep you captive in circumstance until something changes in your heart . Jonah learned this lesson the hard way. God said “go” and Jonah said “no”. He went down to Joppa instead of arising and going to Nineveh…he set sail for Tarshish, 2200 miles the opposite direction! This is what happens when we complain or become ungrateful…we are headed in the wrong direction, we are moving away from the presence of the Lord, we are out of God’s will. “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thess 5:16-18). Jonah hit bottom before he realized that he had an ungrateful heart. He had listened to fears and the lying thoughts in his heart and did not respond to the will of God by faith. He could have ran to God instead of running away. “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy…but I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving…salvation is of the LORD…and the LORD spake to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land”. Jonah’s exit door from trouble was opened through thanksgiving and praise.
We have so much to be thankful for. When Jesus died and rose from the grave and ascended on High…everything changed. We were dead in trespasses and sins but NOW we are alive unto God! We were all lepers in the darkness of despair until Jesus set us free. The moment we called upon Him he saved us… “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name”. Thank God for Jesus!
One moment the disciples were in the storm fearing for their lives and the next moment there was calm and their JOY returned! Thank God for Jesus!
One moment there was a gnawing hunger and then Jesus LOOKED up and then the starving masses were fed…Thank God for Jesus!
One moment the blind were groping, the sick were convalescing, the demon possessed were convulsing, the hopeless were despairing, the fearful were retreating, the waters were rising, the storms were raging, …and THEN Jesus changed EVERYTHING! DO YOU REMEMBER what YOUR HELL looked like before HEAVEN flooded your HEART?. Look what the Lord has done!…when I think of His goodness and what He’s done for me!
How to know if you are thankful
You are filled with joy, peace, love. You sense the presence of God with you. You are slow to criticise and quick to pray and believe the best. You are a reconciler and unite people with God. There is devotion and a passion for God in your life. You stand in the tough times because you believe in a better day because of the sacrifice of God’s Dear Son, you are consistent and immovable and quick to do the will of God.. You bring forth fruit and people are drawn to you because of your exemplary attitude. Wherever you are there is peace in the midst of the storm as you continue to look unto Jesus. You are grateful for the small things. You are thank ful for the people in your life…you love, bless, do good, and pray. You give, you encourage, you strengthen, and you always look up to the one who died for you while you were yet a sinner. You offer up the fruit of your lips, thanking God for Jesus.