The Highest Vow

Have you “performed your vows” today? I’m serious. Have you given your heart offering to God this morning? Did you catch my post yesterday on the “Heart-Changer”? I’m following that line of thinking today with another Psalm that preaches the same truth to me. When I’m struggling to drag my heart in line with His, I pull out Psalm 56 and it has wise counsel for me.

I’m challenged to get my heart in line by performing my vows.

What are my vows?

“I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.” (Psalm 56:12)

These “vows” are a voluntary expression of praise and gratitude given to God: thanksgiving. Wow. This is what my response is supposed to be in the face of all my fears and confusion . . . thankfulness.

When my heart is caving to despair, God’s Word counsels me to pause and give thanks!

Want to take a peek at these instructions with me? Maybe read through them two or three times to get the full impact . . .

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18)

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2–3)

How can we offer thanksgiving when we’re facing terrifying circumstances?

When a child is suffering in ICU?

When my mate rejects me?

When my world is colliding?

When I’m walking into the scary unknown?

The only way I can give thanks in times like that is by remembering Who I belong to, Who is committed to me, and putting my trust in His faithful character.

When I offer my “vows,” when I lift up praise and thanksgiving to God—I am demonstrating that I trust Him to “keep my feet from falling” (v.13), I trust His character and His ways—no matter what I’m facing. I am thanking Him for being my Deliverer and I am pressing into the path of faith He has carved out for me today—“walking before God in the light of life” (Psalm 56:13).

Chesterton promotes the idea that giving thanks is the most valuable activity we can be involved in:

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
—G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton claims that “thanks are the highest form of thought.” I agree with that, because thanksgiving is the response to God’s good character. Thanksgiving is the opposite of grumbling and complaining. Thanksgiving is the highest vow I can give.

Thanksgiving is the vow that demonstrates the wonder of our amazing God.

What can you put on the altar and give thanks for today?

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/


  • Sue

    Thank you for your timely writings, Kimberly. I am choosing thankfulness from my heart today. Would not rather be any other place or in any other circumstances than right in His will. Thanks for your encouragement to keep looking unto Jesus!
    Blessings back to you,

  • Carrie DeLong

    That was a great direction to go this morning. I read Psalm 56 and 107 this morning in front of my fireplace with a cup of hot tea. Thankful for this start to my day! I agree about the significance of our ‘response’ to God. I tried to make a profound statement about this in 4 and 5 year old church when we learned about the 10 lepers and the 1 who said thanks… but it turned into “This is one of the most important stories in the Bible …. I mean, they are all important because they are in the Bible …and they’re all the Word of God and true … well, let’s just sing a thanksgiving song.” Profundity just doesn’t always translate well when I’m chasing a rabbit!!!! 🙂 I hope your thanksgiving is blessed and God continues to encourage you through this season. Love and hugs to my internet friend. 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Carrie ~

    Smiling big at your precious story! So glad you had some time for quiet in the Word before the rush of your day this morning, sounds like it was a sweet time. Pausing to pray for you and your family right now. May you have a meaningful and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Don’t get too stressed, let go of stuff that doesn’t matter, and be that beautiful fierce woman God created you to be 🙂

    Love and hugs right back to you!

  • Rebecca Einwechter

    Thanks for your thoughts on thankfulness and vows. I am thankful that in all the 12 yrs since our family brokenness, God has always been faithful to me and our children. It is a path of constantly going to Him, and every time I have sought Him, He has shown up (not always in my time)! So I thank God for His truth, faithfulness, provision, loving arms around me, precious children and grand babes, a home, car, church family, food, clothing, and sweet friends. And a Happy Birthday to you, dear Kim!

  • clinging to hope

    Dear Kimberly,
    Thank you for your encouraging daily outpouring to us sojourners! I have much to be thankful to Jesus for – life, health, freedom to walk in His ways. So blessed.

    Vowing with you,

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Oh, thank you, Becky!

    Yes, so many good blessings to thank Him for! Thank you for such an encouraging comment and one that reflects the beautiful perspective you demonstrate to all who know you!

    May you and your family have a most blessed Thanksgiving ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello dear friend ~

    We are all so blessed, even in spite of the difficulty and heartache we experience, and I need to be reminded, through the Word, how to maintain that true perspective. He is our only hope.

    Thank you for stopping in with such a kind word of encouragement. May you have a most blessed Thanksgiving!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sue ~

    Thank you for letting me know that these posts are ministering to you right now, that is the faithfulness of the Father to send what we need when we need it! May you experience his joy as you are choosing thankfulness today!

    Blessings to you ~