Worship through Thankfulness
Psalm 69:34, “Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them…”
This week I had the opportunity to walk on the Galveston beach with my two older sons. As we threw sea shells into the sea, I realized that I never stop being amazed at God’s incredible masterpiece we call Earth. How beautiful the sunrise is over an open sea or the sunset across vast mountains. I’m thankful for God’s creation.
Thankfulness to God is a recognition that God in His goodness and faithfulness has provided for us and cared for us, both physically and spiritually. It is recognition that we are totally dependent upon Him; that all that we are and have comes from God.
To fail to be thankful to God is a great tragedy. When Paul recounts the tragic moral downfall of mankind in Romans 1, he begins with the statement in verse 21: “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Thanksgiving is taught in the Bible by both by principle and example. In 1 Chronicles, the Levites who took part in the temple worship were to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. The Psalms contain some 35 references to giving thanks to God. In 18 instances in his letters, Paul expresses thanksgiving to God, and there are 10 other instances in which he instructs us to give thanks. In all, there are approximately 140 references in the Bible to giving thanks to God. Thankfulness is no minor principle in God’s sight.
The primary purpose of giving thanks to God is to acknowledge His goodness and honor Him. God says in Psalm 50:23 – “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me.”
Being Thankful to God stimulates our faith. In Psalm 50:14-15, God connects thank offerings with calling upon Him in the day of trouble. Remembering God’s previous mercies encourages us to trust Him for the mercies we need today.
Being Thankful promotes contentment. It will promote contentment about possessions, position, and providence by focusing our thoughts on the blessings God has already given, forcing us to stop spending our time yearning for thins we do not have. Contentment and thanksgiving strengthen each other.
Homework: This week make a list of specific things you are thankful for. Begin and end the day with a time of thanksgiving.