I have noted over the years that the best-blessed people are the most thankful people. It should be innate with us to be profusely thankful to God for His deep rich blessings.
But, how to give God thanks comes into question. It involves more than just uttering a mundane “Thanks.” Actually, we can learn how to best give God thanks from a certain psalm written by David. The following is what we can glean from it and—-perhaps—-be better at the giving of thanks.
The context of David’s psalm is when he was allowed by God to bring into the city of Jerusalem the Ark of the Covenant. He was filled with thanksgiving to God for allowing him the great privilege. So, he wrote the psalm “to thank the Lord.”
What we see, first of all, is that we should give God thanks verbally. Within this framework of giving thanks, David says that we should “call upon” God, and that we should “talk” about His wonderful works. These are obvious verbal responses.
This is not a trite matter to consider. If I stand in front of Terry, and say, “What am I thinking,” she would not know specifically. But, if I verbalize, “I am very thankful that you fixed me biscuits and gravy for breakfast this morning,” it becomes much more qualified.
While it is understood that God knows our thoughts, we should be willing to outwardly speak thanksgiving to God. Verbalizing thanks is a proper spiritual activity.
David’s psalm teaches us to give God thanks purposefully, for he speaks of “rejoicing,” “seeking,” and “remembering” with a purposeful intent the goodness of God. If you want someone to keep on being good and kind, you tend to want to express on purpose that you are thankful for what they do. It goes back to the biscuits and gravy—-if I do not purposely offer thanks for the kind preparations, the lady might think I do not care, and stop the provision. God forbid! So, I make it a point to give thanks. The same way it should be with us toward the Lord.
A third teachable point is that we should give thanks particularly. David reminded the people “to be mindful,” and gave them at least two particular points about which their thanksgiving to God should be mindful.
The one has to do with the “covenant” God established with them concerning the land He promised to them. By contrast, God has given to us in the United States a wonderful land that is very beautiful. He has given to us a land that yields for us many products that sustain for us a comfortable lifestyle. While we may muddy our country’s circumstances by our decisions and actions, our perspectives should be tempered by the fact that we have such a good place in which to live. Our country is a “particular” reason for which to give God thanks.
The other has to do with the protection God has given. “Touch not mine anointed,” God told the nations concerning Israel. And, by contrast, while we understand that America is not completely untouchable, it is, nonetheless, very protected. Our location on the earth from certain enemies is a factor. Our strong and valiant military is a considerable factor. I particularly thank God for our land and for His protection of it.
An important thankful know-how is to give God thanks passionately. This is recognized from David’s passionate disclosures about God. “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,” he said. “Give to the Lord the glory due His name…Fear before Him…Let the Heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice…Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, His mercy endureth forever.”
For example, a man who loves his wife will express his passion for her. He will tell her with passion how pretty she is. He will tell her with passion how much he loves her. Expressions of passion keep a marriage vibrant.
So it is with our relationship with the Lord. We need to maintain thanks to Him with heartfelt passion.
Be thankful point specifically to God. But, take the cues from Scripture how we can be thankful in the most efficient manner.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.