Creamed soup specials, crisply ironed tablecloths, and travel weather reports remind us that Thanksgiving approaches. Next Thursday, we may circle the table expressing thanks for health, family, food and housing security, blessings not everyone enjoys. But perhaps holiday preparations distract us from more thoughtful responses.
The songs of God’s people abound with thanksgiving through praise. Perhaps my favorite is Psalm 100:
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100 NIV
For Christians, gratitude means recognizing who God is and what He has done.
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Psalm 105:1-2 NIV
God doesn’t need our thanks but a grateful heart positions us properly for relationship with Him. He instructs us to give thanks because it’s good for us and the benefits build up with practice.
4 Benefits of Gratitude
Gratitude summons appreciation
Gratitude summons appreciation for what we already have rather than what we lack. The simplest gratitude opens our eyes to notice God’s provision, some of which we take for granted. We see the gift of each moment and the splendid beauty all around us.
Praise the LORD!
I will thank the LORD with all my heart
As I meet with his godly people.
How amazing are the deeds of the LORD!
All who delight in him should ponder them.
Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
How gracious and merciful is our LORD.
Psalm 111:1-3 NLT
Gratitude reveals God’s activity in our lives
As we identify our current blessings, we’re able to recognize God’s gifts as they arrive in real time. We increasingly sense His presence, care, and abundant provision. We discover His character as we refocus our attention away from ourselves and to our Provider.
It is good to praise the LORD
And make music to your name, O Most High,
Proclaiming your love in the morning
And your faithfulness at night.
For you make me glad by your deeds, LORD;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
Psalm 92:1-2,4 NIV
Gratitude increases trust
Remembering that God provided in the past helps us trust Him to provide for the future. Through both joyful and difficult seasons, we can rely on His love and faithfulness. With trust built through gratitude, our faith becomes firm.
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:11-14 NIV
Gratitude brings peace
Thanking God in advance for helping us through our troubles yields peace that only comes from God. Releasing our concerns into His care shifts the weighty burden from our shoulders to His. It relieves us of having to figure life out on our own. Knowing we can rely on God yields unnatural peace.
Do be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Instead of expressing vague feelings of thankfulness, I name God as the Provider of all good gifts (James 1:16-17). I am grateful for God’s redemptive mercy over my missteps and for guiding me to my place in His bigger story. I treasure my relationship with Him and appreciate His ever present Spirit. My life is full because of Him.
Praise His Name!
I’ve often reflected on gratitude:
Are we more hen have you been as grateful for time with God or time with friends?
How can we be anything but grateful when the God of the universe shows personal care?
#seedsofscripture #readthebiblebetter #Psalms #thanksgiving #gratitude #thankingGod