“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” – 1 Chronicles 16:34From Dave Atkinson:
If you were able to join our livestream service last Sunday, you may remember that we started our worship with the song, “Give thanks to the Lord our God and King, his love endures forever.” [You are possibly singing it to yourself right now?!]
The command to give thanks to God is a constant refrain throughout the Bible. King David does so in the 1 Chronicles 16 passage above. He and other lyricists repeat the command throughout the Psalms. Jesus exampled giving thanks to God throughout the gospels. Paul emphasises that it is God’s will for us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Why are we commanded to give thanks to God? Well firstly, God deserves it, because he is God – and in a sense that is reason enough. But God knows that bringing our thanksgiving to him will help to keep our hearts in a right relationship with him, because giving thanks helps to put our lives and circumstances into perspective.
As we give thanks to God, we are reminded of who he is and how great he is. We are reminded of his great love for us, shown ultimately in Jesus. We are reminded of the eternal hope that we have when we trust Jesus. We are reminded of his faithfulness as he meets our daily needs, and of his grace as we recognise that all we have is a gift from him.
Since we sang “Give thanks” last Sunday, I’ve been reflecting that, during this time of Coronavirus lockdown and associated pressures, I’ve been more inclined to ask (praying for people and circumstances) rather than thanking the Lord for who he is, what he has done and what he provides. Perhaps, that is true of you too?
Of course, asking is also a command from God and so this is not a case of one thing or the other. Rather, this is a case of coming to the Lord wholeheartedly, reminding ourselves, as we give thanks, that he alone has the knowledge and power to answer our asks.
Can I suggest three things:
1: Before you put this blog aside, give thanks to God for five things.
2: Consider whether and how you might spend more time giving thanks to the Lord in your personal and family devotions.
3: Over the weekend, do the A to Z of thanks – perhaps as a family activity. Come up with one or more thing for each letter of the alphabet for which to thank God.