Glorifying God with thanksgiving

God reveals Himself to us in our thanksgiving. As we offer sacrifices of praise, continually, from lips and hearts that acknowledge His name (Hebrews 13:15), He opens our hearts to see Him as He is.

Perhaps the most powerful way in which we glorify God is to trust Him and offer thanksgiving for His holiness, goodness and love even in the midst of circumstances, events or attitudes which cast profound doubt upon these very attributes. If my heart is breaking over the brokenness of the world and the lack of hope for things to even slow in their deterioration, if I am staring starkly into the reality that in many ways it does look as though we are on our own in the awful mess we have made, yet turn my heart to thank God for the hope He proclaims in Christ – that thanksgiving is a sacrifice. Thanksgiving when your heart just wants to scream and rant at God is hard.

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!
(Psalm 50:23 ESV)

In such situations simply prattling off some trite thanks for material comforts or a happy family doesn’t cut it. Our hearts rebel at such hypocrisy, and rightly so. Sometimes reality smashes down all veneer of having it all together and we have to admit that things really are bad, there is no point denying it. This, in fact, can be the beginning of true thanksgiving – thanking God for being God.

Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
(Job 13:15 ESV)

Notice where Job places his hope – in Him, in the very One who is responsible for his suffering! At the end of hope is the beginning of true thanksgiving and trust, the trembling acceptance of our reality and un-done-ness and praising God as He is (Isaiah 6:5). Hoping in Him for who He is – and apart from Him there is nothing (John 1:3).


The amazing painting featured above is by Luke Allsbrook, check out the full resolution images here on his website.

Gifts I have noticed this week (227 – 237):
[including thanks for material stuff and a happy family!]

227) Being outside in bright sunshine.
228) Happy children.
229) Getting a scrubcutter to attack the jungle in our back yard.
230) My wheezy, asthmatic son snoring beside me in bed.
231) A daughter wrestling with the meaning of the fall and Romans 7:7-25.
232) The ESV Online Study Bible.
233) A strenuous walk after sitting and sleeping.
234) Literal windfalls for my gleaning.
235) Crickets chirping.
236) Laughter (Proverbs 17:22).
237) The whole book of Revelation.

2 thoughts on “Glorifying God with thanksgiving

  1. Yes, the hardest things to thank God for are the painful and awful things, yet by thanking God for them we are turning back to Him, letting Him be the focus, drawing the poison out of the wound. It’s amazing the transforming power of thanking God in the hard times.

    Have you heard the story of Corrie ten Boom’s sister thanking God for the fleas in their concentration camp bunkroom? Corrie thought her sister was crazy for it, but those fleas allowed the sisters to share God with their fellows because the wardens refused to enter there because of them. Praise God for fleas!

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    • Hi Kathy,
      I think the thoughts that brought this post into being found some answers on page 54 of One Thousand Gifts. Rejoicing in what God has already given me is much more glorifying to Him than being glum because of the mystery of why He allows so much suffering in this world. It seems God is taking me on a learning journey with this topic!

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