I was surprised and it completely stopped my flow of thought. I hadn’t actually expected a response. And if I had expected a response, those were not the words I would have anticipated…but they were exactly what I needed to hear.
Why? Because my mindset was flipped from lack…to provision. He encouraged me to ask Him for a “greater than” extension of what He had already provided. He invited me to remember and acknowledge my reliance on Him as my source. I could feel my soul shift from concern to peace, from the perception of my world…to the abundance, generosity, and reality of His. It was a great transition.
The Psalmists use the word “thanks” 50 times in the Book of Psalms. That doesn’t include “thanksgiving,” which adds 11 more references. As I scrolled through my online Bible resource, though, an anomaly caught my attention: there is not one New Covenant (Testament) reference connecting the words “sacrifice” and “thanksgiving.” Honest. Not even one.
When Paul wrote to the churches, he frequently expressed thankfulness towards God. Scripture records Paul giving thanks to God when he addressed the Romans, three times when addressing the Corinthians, also when addressing the Philippians, the Thessalonians, in his letters to Timothy, and to Philemon.
What becomes very evident when you contrast the two forms of “thankfulness” is that Paul wrote from a heart focused on an endearing, sustaining relationship: “I thank my God…” (Romans 1:8), “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me…” (I Timothy 1:12), “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience…” (2 Tim. 1:3)