In the spirit of the beginning if Thanksgiving week, I turned to Leviticus 7 today. In the Old testament days, the Israelites made all different kinds of offerings to God. There were the burnt offerings, guilt offerings, ordination offerings, Thanksgiving offerings, and peace offerings. Each one served a different purpose, and God gave very clear instructions for each of these at the time. While they were following instructions, at the time, these offerings were all acts of worship.
It's hard to enjoy worshipping the Lord sometimes. There are times where we may be feeling guilty about something, or we struggle to Praise God because we're having a particularly bad day. But a big part of worship is to be Thankful at all times. God commands us to be thankful! Psalms 100:4 says "Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise." Paul says in Colossians 3:15 "Always be thankful" and then again in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." Sometimes we struggle with discovering the will of God for our life, but this is one area where we already know God's will for us- and that is to always be thankful.
The Israelites frequently brought Thanksgiving offerings to the Lord in addition to their guilt offerings and other offerings. But how often do we take God our sin and our guilt in our prayers? We must also remember to always add our thanksgiving. Even when we don't feel thankful because we're struggling with something, God tells us to be thankful anyways! So what can we be thankful for? We can be thankful simply for the ability to thank God. We can be thankful that God knows us and cares about us, and we can be thankful that he will see us through whatever our struggles are. God knows the reasons why being thankful can be difficult for us at times, and we can thank him simply for knowing. We can also know that if we bring our sin and our guilt to God, he will forgive us, and we can be thankful for that!
Paul said "be thankful". He didn't say "feel thankful". Being thankful is a command from God that I really think that I can obey. I can be thankful every day for the gifts that he has given me, and I can also be thankful for the opportunity of a new day. Especially this morning, as the sun has just come out after being hidden for many, many days. How wonderful to see the sun again. Thank you God for your command to be thankful, it is a wonderful reminder of the grace we have every moment of our lives.