“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are His—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 is eternal. His faithfulness endures
through all generations.”
– Psalm 100
What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving? Eating, football, shopping, traditions and family are a few things that come to mind. While these things may bring pleasure, Thanksgiving is about so much more. Thanksgiving Day is a unique holiday, it doesn’t celebrate a famous battle or someone’s birthday. It’s simply a day we set aside to express our thanks to God. Psalm 100 describes the nature of thanksgiving and invites us to praise God with a heart of true thankfulness. Five key words in this Psalm reveal the essence of giving thanks:
JOY – We have no problems shouting at an athletic event, but we are often reluctant to shout praises to God. God has won the victory over sin and we need to be filled with joy and shout about it.
GLADNESS – Coaches and fans eagerly anticipate the next game. Excitement builds as game day approaches. Why is it that we often come to God in such a casual manner? Where is the anticipation and excitement? When we come before the Lord, we are to do it with gladness.
DEPENDENCE – There is no such thing as a self-made coach. God is Lord; God is creator; and God is shepherd. He created the air we breathe; He knows every hair on our head; and He knows every beat of our heart. We thank Him because we are dependent on Him.
THANKFULNESS – Coach, what is the condition of your heart? You can’t give thanks unless you are thankful. Thanksgiving is what flows out of a thankful heart. We need to be thankful to God for what He has done and continues to do for us.
GRATITUDE – In victory and defeat, there are three reasons to be thankful. The Lord is good; the Lord’s mercy is everlasting; and the Lord’s truth endures forever.
This Thanksgiving, with all the preparations, events and excitement, my prayer is that God is thanked with joy, gladness, thankfulness, gratitude and a heart dependent on Him. God bless.