The Joy of Thanksliving

Thankful people talk to themselves.  Consider David, that “sweet singer of Israel.”  He looked around and surveyed his lands, he looked back surveyed his life, and then he looked up and surveyed his Lord.  And in seeing all that he saw, his heart was flooded with thankfulness.  One might even say that his cup ran over.

All of the gratitude that was welling up inside of him soon burst forth in articulated adoration! At once, David became both the preacher and the congregation.  For him gratitude wasn’t impulsive; the emotional response of a man overwhelmed by the feelings in his gut. But rather, gratitude was imperative; the rational response of a man overwhelmed by the faithfulness of his God. So he preached to himself—the way that all thankful people do.

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me; bless his Holy name!  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all of his benefits (Ps. 103:1-2).” 

He then catalogues and categorizes the multitudinous mercies which the Lord has lavished upon his life; counting, recounting, and taking account of as many as he could call to mind. 

Thankful people repeat themselves. One of several lessons that we can learn from David is that the best way not to forget is to remember.  And the best way to remember them is to repeat them. Repeatedly. This is how we “tune our hearts to sing His praise.”  Christian lips should always be ready to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.  And we do this through giving thanks.

David teaches us that specificity is required in praise.  Generally speaking, speaking in general isn’t very intimate or involved. David praised God for particulars.  Once we engage in this spiritual enterprise we soon fade into the background and the object of our greatest joy and gratitude becomes all in all. Thus, thankful people forget themselves.

“He forgives all my iniquity.”

“He heals all of my diseases.”

“He redeemed my life from the pit.”

“He crowns me with steadfast love and mercy.”

“He satisfies me with good things.”

“He renews my youth like the eagle’s.”

“He works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”

“He makes Himself known through His words and works.”

“He is merciful and gracious.”

“He is slow to anger and abounds in steadfast love.”

“He will not always chide.”

“He wil not keep his anger forever.”

“He does not deal with us according to our sins.”

“He does not repay us according to our iniquities.”

“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so is His steadfast love toward those that fear Him.”

“He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.”

“He is our Father who shows compassion toward us.”

“His love is from everlasting to everlasting.”

And our joy abounds when we realize that we are just getting started…

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