A Psalm of Thanksgiving
Words of thanksgiving fill the Psalms to overflowing. The psalmist admonishes us to praise the Lord regardless of times and circumstances. That is not so easy when facing life’s challenges. Even as women of faith, we may have to dig deep within ourselves to muster up an ounce of thanksgiving during difficult times.
Yet, when we read the Psalms, the psalmist forces us to view thanksgiving with serious contemplation. Packed with verse after verse of praise, the Psalms beckon us to the thanksgiving table where God spreads before us a feast of bountiful grace and merciful love. The psalmist teaches us to offer thanks before we eat, while we partake, and after leaving the table with our satisfied spiritual stomachs.
We cannot fool ourselves into thinking that the psalmist fails to understand the courage and fortitude required for giving thanks when our hearts are broken and our souls hurting. Though God’s Word includes many psalms of praise, we also read abundant psalms of lament.
Psalm 137 tells the story of the grieving Jewish nation, whose citizens silence their voices after they are wrenched from their homeland and plopped inside a foreign country. They refuse to sing a note of praise—unfortunate behavior for people blessed and chosen by a God who loves them.
Our external circumstances must not dictate our thanksgiving patterns. We offer thanksgiving to God out of trust and love. God remains faithful. God loves without reservations. Living in a spirit of thanksgiving causes us to recognize and appreciate God’s blessings. Despite what we have faced in the past, are facing in the present, or will face, we sit down at the thanksgiving table as blessed women.
Let us add up our blessings, offering thanksgiving for our family, our friends, our baptism, and our inclusion in the church and God’s kingdom. Include thanksgiving as an essential part of your daily routine. Let your voice burst forth with songs of thanksgiving. God listens to and delights in you.
Read “Thanks for the Privilege of Prayer”—Quiet Spaces, page 63