I have had some great blessings this week. I was joyful, confident, faithful and grateful. I thought about God’s blessings in my life I was reminded of a simple Bible verse that has impacted me greatly over the years.
I was involved in a children’s program at our church for many years. One of the first verses the children learned in this program is Psalm 118:1. “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” It is a verse I have repeated hundreds of times over the years as I helped 5-year-olds memorize it. I will continue to repeat it forever.
Giving thanks keeps me strong. When I remember that God is good, it is easier to face all of life’s experiences with an indescribable power. Since I am a child of a good God who has my eternal best interest in mind always, I can face life with great confidence and strength. Nothing will be a true problem or disaster because “God works all things together for good to those who love God” (Rom 8:28). Knowing that God is good makes me strong.
Giving thanks keeps me grounded. When I think of God’s goodness, I realize that it is a free gift that I do not deserve. I am humbled by the depth of God’s goodness. “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3–7, NIV)
Giving thanks adds joy and gladness to my life. Many times in the Bible rejoice, praise and sing are listed along with give thanks. They go together. A rejoicing heart is a thankful heart. A thankful heart praises and sings. When I am grateful for all God has done, I rejoice, joy floods my soul.“Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” (Psalm 33:1–4, ESV)
Oh, give thanks! It is not an option. It is a command. Give thanks. Why? We give thanks because it takes the focus off of the temporal and helps us to focus on our Eternal Holy God. The truth is that God is good all the time and that is where my focus should be. When I am obedient to this truth, I live in joy, I stand firm in my faith, and I am strong no matter what I face. And this dear friends is a great state of mind to be in.