A Heart of Thanksgiving

A Heart of Thanksgiving

King David gives us a powerful picture of what a thankful heart looks like in Psalm 100:

1 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.

1. JOY- Two times in the first 2 verses, joy or joyful is mentioned. Also, the word gladness is used. One Theologian said this: … all our songs to God should have in them a measure of joyfulness.” When David wrote Psalm 100, heathen gods were worshipped with sorrowful noises, and cries of misery. In contrast, as David expressed, the God of heaven was to be worshipped with a joyful noise. 

Joy is so powerful that it can change our perspective, even in the darkest of times. Rev. Richard Wurmbrand learned how to remain thankful even in the most dismal of places — a Communist prison. He endured tortures and mistreatments that should have killed him; and yet, amid such miserable conditions, this was his response: “There’s always a good reason to rejoice. There is a God in heaven and in the heart. … Every day you do not rejoice is a day lost!”

2. REST- I don’t know about you, but I’m always trying to wrestle control of my life from the Lord’s grip, and it leaves me exhausted. What an oxymoronic statement… trying to wrestle “CONTROL” from a completely Sovereign, Transcendent, Omnipotent God, who breathed, and the universe leapt into existence?!?!

We as human BEINGS, we are called to embrace our God given limits. God is God, we are not. We are HIS. Rest and be thankful that’s the case. Therefore, the weight of the world DOESN’T have to be on your shoulders.

Resting is such a powerful facet of our relationship with Jesus because it is not dependent upon our readiness. One theologian put it like this, “Resting dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished. We rest because (God) is the one who takes care of the universe. While our efforts are important, they are not (nor are we) indispensable. The galaxy will somehow manage without us for this hour, this day, and so we are invited- no, commanded- to enjoy our relative unimportance, our humble place at the table in a very large world.”

If you’ve said this: “I just don’t have time to rest,” then chances are good you’re moving too fast in life, and there’s no way to be thankful when your hair is on fire… In fact, your life is probably filled with unnecessary anguish.

3. LOVE- WHY can we give thanks and praise as noted in verse 4? Look no further than verse 5, it’s because of God’s love and faithfulness.Because of who He is, what He’s done, and what He continues to do, I can boldly come before His throne. I can enter with thanksgiving.

Verse 5 notes that God is good and faithful. Because of Christ’s loving, redemptive work on the cross, I am a new creation of great worth. I am deeply loved, completely forgiven, totally accepted by God, fully pleasing to the Father, and absolutely complete in Christ.

Have you experienced this love?

David wrote about this in Psalm 130:5-7 while under great distress- “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord… Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”

If you’re a Christ-follower and are not feeling very thankful lately, refresh and renew yourself in the Truth of His love.

Keep Looking Up,

Rev. Jon Barrett | Director of CVCCS