Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Why should we give thanks? Some suggestions from Psalm 138
1 A Psalm of David. I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. 2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. 3 On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. 4 All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. 5 And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the arrogant He knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. 8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Since this is Thanksgiving, and since I seem to hear some complaints lately (most of them coming from my own heart), I decided to post a list of things I am thankful for based off of some words from David. Psalm 138 above describes a Hymn of Thanksgiving. With David, I'd like to remind myself to be thankful for the following:
1. There is no God like the God of the Bible. The Triune God is not a part of his creation, nor is his subsistence dependent on it. He is above all things, and by him all things exist. In fact, Paul tells us in chapter 1 of Colossians that Jesus holds all things together and is the author of creation. Nothing exists outside of God's authority. His sovereignty is unending and unlimited.
2. God's lovingkindness and truth are available to all of us. Jeremiah reminds us that God's mercy is new every morning. The Psalmist reminds us on numerous occasions that God is patient and longsuffering, showing mercy and lovingkindness to many generations. His love is such that he gave his only Son, Jesus, the treasure of his heart. His lovingkindness not only gave us life, but it also provides us with all we need to live this life and to obey his ways. His mercy is amazing! His truth is convicting. God does not lie. He reveals truth inside humans, but he also makes truth known in nature itself. Even God's very attributes are observable in nature around us. God has made Truth known, and he is the very essence of Truth. All truth points to him, and he alone knows all truth exhaustively. His truth and lovingkindness lead to salvation and a proper relationship not only with this great God but with his creation as well.
3. God has given us a Word that will never fail. He has magnified, valued, advanced, enlarged, even exalted his Word above his own name. If the name of God is the name above all names, then his Word must be the Word above all words. He has revealed himself in Jesus who is the Logos, the Word of God in flesh, the exact representation of the image and character of God himself. The Word God has provided for us is active, alive, and powerful. It can bring knowledge, life, and salvation. This Word explains, reveals, and interprets the very nature of God for us. Jesus is the perfect revelation of God. God has given us his Word!
4. God answers prayer. When we call on God, he is faithful to respond. And his response emboldens us and gives us courage. Conversation with God leads to conversion of our souls. His response to our requests shows his presence, his love, and his great kindness towards us. He hears when we call, and he responds.
5. God is friends with the humble, but he is an enemy to the proud. I am grateful that even though our God is high and exalted, he finds it satisfactory to dwell with those who are humble and lowly. He is not at home with those who think too highly of themselves, but he chooses to dwell with those who humble themselves to him. Arrogance is an offense to the Creator of all (since none are above him), but the humble person finds audience with God. He takes up residence among those who are humble and do not think too highly of themselves. In fact, in chapter 2 of Philippians, Paul tells us that God humbled himself and served us. If Jesus could humble himself, we should do so as well.
6. God will be with us in trouble. There is no obstacle or problem that can separate us from God (Romans 8:28-39). His love for us is never ending and his reach cannot be blocked. No matter the circumstances in your life, God is faithful. He will walk with his child in the midst of problems and provide what is needed to live a life of godliness even in hard circumstances (Psalm 23). He does not always deliver us from trouble, but he never abandons us in it. Like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, God is with us in the midst of our trials, troubles, or problems. He bears them with us, he walks with us, he gives us his joy in spite of our trouble, and he never fails.
7. God will complete the task he has begun (Phil. 1:6). He is faithful. He will not forsake the works of his hands. He will accomplish all those things that pertain to his people. He will not fail. He is constant, kind, considerate. He will finish what he starts and will bring to pass all that he has promised (Isaiah 66:9). His Word is true, and he is faithful to complete it. Not a single stray mark of his Scripture will fail to happen. If God speaks it or if God begins it, it will be done in his time and by his outstretched hand. There is nothing too difficult for God, and he is worthy of our praise and our thanks!
Because of these things and so many others, I want to develop a grateful and thankful heart. May we all find comfort in God's character, Word, and love this season. May we give him the thanks and praise he deserves!
Thanks for reading!