By Robert Halsey Pine
“Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50 NRSV).
We have so much to be thankful for. You say, “I don’t have anything to be thankful for. Everywhere that I turn, I am a victim.” If you haven’t invited God into your life, you’re missing some great help. God is so good that He takes our disasters and turns them into blessings. The key is to have that ongoing relationship with Him through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You will be surprised at how often you’ll be thanking Him.
God makes it so easy for us. We go the right way and we are shown the salvation of God. All he requires of us is to thank Him. That is our sacrifice. It all sounds pretty easy, but what about this, “going the right way?” Aha! Now that may take a little extra work. We really don’t have time to keep checking ourselves in every move that we make. We are going to mess up every now and then. That’s where we call on our 24-hour-a-day “checker upper.” God is a full service God and keeps long hours. We’re just too lazy or preoccupied sometimes to use our credit line with God. It’s free. The only payment is “Thanks.”
The psalmist Asaph is hearing God say, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” But then God says to the wicked, “What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips.”
So going the right way is important to God. We don’t think of ourselves as wicked, but separating ourselves from God can bring on some pretty wicked things. We sometimes catch ourselves agreeing with and supporting the wicked. It’s a crazy world out there, and just being a good person doesn’t necessarily get the job done. Our goodness comes from God. We don’t know how to be good on our own. Adam and Eve proved that.
Father God, I want to go the right way, but I need Your help. I know that I haven’t been thanking You enough lately. Maybe I haven’t been talking to You enough. I guess that I really haven’t called on You in my times of trouble, much less when things have been normal. I pray that You will help me focus on You so that I can have more to be thankful for. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.