Finding Our Thanksgiving
1 Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath!
— Psalm 146
Is it possible to grow weary, giving thanks to God? Have you fallen into that spiritual-warping posture? If that happens to you, let me offer a couple insights that can lead you to overcome your own thanks-weariness. I pulled up several Psalms in the Old Testament and a few passages from the New Testament to observe how thanks to God was expressed in the Bible.
I felt I needed to seek new expressions of thanks to God because I get caught in the very narrow trap reflected from the “majority consensus” when others are asked to share for what they are thankful. It’s generally the same thing: a) Family and b) Health.
I don’t mean to be critical of these two blessings for which we are all thankful! But after Family and Good Health — what are the next three things for which you are thankful?
Does that list come easy?
The Bible reminds us of the difference between Thanksgiving and Praise: “Thanksgiving is expressing gratitude for things God has done. Praise is expressing appreciation for who God is!” You see the uniqueness of each. Both are important!
Listen to how Psalm 95:3-5 expresses praise for who God is:
3 For the Lord is a great God, 4 a great King above all gods.
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth 5 and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to Him, for He made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
Then we hear the expression of thanks for what God has done in Psalm 107:21-22:
21 Let them praise the Lord for His great love
and for the wonderful things He has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about His glorious acts.
But to hone in a little tighter, as suggested above, for what are you thankful, and how would you compose your own message of praise?
At this point I was reminded of the contemporary Christian songs of worship that surround us and offer us awesome examples to follow. You will find several expressions of these newer poets and song-writers throughout the pages of our newsletter, including one right below:
Wonderful, merciful Savior;
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb Could rescue the souls of men?
Oh, You rescue the souls of men! Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace;
You offer hope when our hearts have Hopelessly lost our way.
Oh, we've hopelessly lost the way.
You are the One that we praise! You are the One we adore!
You give the healing and grace Our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.
[“Wonderful, Merciful Savior”; by Selah]
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Steele Memorial United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 346
733 Shaw Street
Barboursville, WV 25504