Week of November 17
"The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." ~ Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
David knew the power of thanksgiving. He understood that thanksgiving reflects a humble heart and is rooted in humble gratitude. He was genuinely grateful. For him, God was his only solution, his only escape from danger. And he trusted God to show up and deliver him. For David, God meant life.
No matter what our circumstances, we can always thank God for who He is and for delivering us from every evil darkness into every blessing of light.
James 1:17 says, "every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights . . ." (NKJV).
Thanksgiving honors God. It is a facet of praise, a biblical precept, a key component of prayer and our Christian love walk. The dictionary defines thanksgiving as "a prayer that offers thanks to God . . . an expression or an act of giving thanks . . . a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness."
Philippians 4:6 instructs us to pray and petition God with thanksgiving. The NIV note for this scripture tells us that thanksgiving is "the antidote to worry."
Psalms 95:2 says, "Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song."
1 Corinthians 10:16 refers to the communion cup as "the cup of thanksgiving," which we take in remembrance of Jesus who died for us so we can have eternal life.
The word "Hallelujah," which we often sing, translates into the Hebrew word "halleluyah," which literally means "praise ye the Lord." The dictionary defines Hallelujah as a thankful cry of "relief, welcome or gratitude."
I did a rare thing for myself one day: I bought a cup of coffee at my local grocery store and decided to take my time shopping for our week's meals. God spoke to my heart as I came upon the book aisle. There, I spotted TV anchor Deborah Norville's book, Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You.
"Interesting choice of words," I thought.
I flipped through the book, having recalled Mrs. Norville publicly proclaiming years earlier that she is a woman of faith. I saw that she included lots of supporting material—quotes and studies professing that the principle of thanksgiving works. And, indeed, in the final chapter, she directly addresses "people of faith," encouraging readers to attend assemblies of worship.
As I stood in the aisle of that market, I was reminded that the same biblical principles that we Christians are to live by also work in the world. God doesn't want to leave anyone out. He loves us all.
It caused me to pause and ask myself, "How is my attitude of thanksgiving? How grateful is my heart? Do I really honor God enough with prayers of thanksgiving? What gifts from above have I taken for granted?
Indeed, thanksgiving is a powerful principle that touches the Father's heart. May we ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts, and may we give the Father of Light thanks for every good and perfect gift.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 17 November 2013.