When Giving Thanks Becomes a Sacrifice

When Giving Thanks Becomes a Sacrifice - Grace Fox

In the midst of trials is where we’re called to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Doing so proves we trust God even when we can’t understand His ways.

Giving thanks is easy when there’s something tangible for which to be thankful. You know…the sun shines on the day you’ve planned a family picnic, your suitcases land at the same airport as you do after a long trip, you live a “happily-ever-after” life with a loving family and mortgage-free house, everything you do meets with success, yada yada.

It’s not so easy when rain falls on your party, suitcases get lost, “happily-ever-after” turns into a nightmare, and everything you do seems to fail.

That’s when giving thanks becomes an act of the will

In the midst of trials is where we’re called to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Doing so proves that we trust God even when we can’t understand His ways. In turn, honoring Him opens the door for Him to bless us.

Psalm 50:14,23 says,

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High…Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

These verses, like many others in Scripture, give a command with a promise.


Give thanks to God even when it hurts.


God will reveal His salvation to us.

A lesson I’m still learning

Practicing the sacrifice of thanksgiving is a lesson I’m learning on an ongoing basis. Did I feel thankful when a friend was recently diagnosed with leukemia? No, but I gave thanks to God for holding her in His hand.

Did I feel thankful when the quote for the cost of a current book publishing project suddenly escalated several hundred dollars? No, but I gave thanks to God for His ability to provide.

Do I feel thankful that I’m scheduled for major dental work this month? Are you kidding? In the midst of white-knuckled anticipation, I’m thanking God for a dentist who’s skilled and able to address my tooth issues quickly.

It’s my job to obey God’s command and practice the sacrifice of thanksgiving. It’s His job to fulfill His promise in whatever manner He wishes. Maybe it’s fulfilled in the peace that I’ve experienced since I started expressing thanks. Or maybe there’s more. That’s not my concern, but I must admit, I am curious.

How about you?

Tell us about a situation in which you practiced the sacrifice of thanksgiving and how you experienced the salvation of God.

Know you are loved,


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  1. I am learning this, too. I think the hard part is when you are trying to be thankful, but you can really see nothing to be thankful for in the situation. And nothing seems to be changing. All you can hope for is a miracle. I try to keep thanking God that He is who He says He is and He keeps his promises. There’s really nothing else, sometimes. I appreciate your thoughts, by the way!

    1. I believe you’re on the right track, Aneta. Keep thanking God that He is who He says He is and that He keeps His promises. Something else I do nearly every day is to thank God for my eyesight, for ears to hear a bird’s song and a child’s laughter, and for legs to walk. Those are pretty simple things, but I never want to take them for granted.

  2. hi

    we are in a prayer group and today we discussed about sacrificing. am a bit confused when we say we are sacrificng to god what are we doing,,,,are we paying money to our churches as a sacrifice,,,of our problems, are we giving what we treasure most to the poor , needy in exchange to freedon from cancer.. when am suffering from a deadly disease can igive sacrifice to my pastor for good health..

    in short when i have problems to i sacrifice oveer my problems

    please clarify sacrifice and give me some verses please

    1. Thanks for your question. I’ll try to answer with the hope that I’m understanding it correctly.The dictionary says that to sacrifice is to give up or suffer loss for the sake of something else. In practical terms, we might choose to sacrifice nice, new furniture to feed the homeless with the money saved. We might sacrifice a much-needed vacation to help care for someone who’s sick. We might sacrifice our “right” to privacy by opening our home to someone — perhaps a missionary on home assignment — who needs a place to stay temporarily. In this context, we willingly give up something we’d like to have or do in order to help someone else or further a well-deserving cause.

      You mentioned giving a sacrifice to a pastor in exchange for health from a deadly disease. This doesn’t sound right to me. In no case should a pastor, or any other spiritual leader, ask for money or anything else in exchange for a person’s healing. Watch out!

      1. Whenever you come across thanks sacrifice being exclusively equated to money you must part with, then be careful of wolves dressed in sheep clothing who feed on their unsuspecting flock.

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