When I think of worship I automatically move to thanksgiving. When we come into God’s presence, we bring our offerings of gratitude and praise. We are called to be thankful even in difficult circumstances.
The psalms are filled with many songs of praise and thanksgiving, as are our hymns and more modern worship songs.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who has made us, and we are His; We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
I looked up various synonyms for thankful, among these I found: grateful, contented, relieved, satisfied, and indebted. As I pondered these descriptive words, I saw a distinctive pattern. When one is grateful for what they have been given, even in times of loss, they search for the positive, the thing(s) for which to be thankful. This does not wipe away the hurt, disappointment, or fill the hole left behind by the death of someone we loved deeply. However, when we choose to focus on the positives, our hearts begin to heal faster.
Recently, there was tornado damage in Conecuh and Escambia counties, Alabama, where I grew up. Evelyn’s parents farm sits partly in both counties. I took some vacation days and went down to assist my brother-in-law in what I thought was to be some major clean up. Upon arrival I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief and thanksgiving, as I perused the damage and realized it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. Some people in the East Brewton area had lost their homes and others their lives, we had tree damage and a lot of debris but no damage to my mother-in-law’s house. Most of the clean-up that I had anticipated taking a week, was completed in just a couple of days. We were blessed! We are so very grateful! Others had it much worse than we!
Today concentrate on the blessings God has given you…protection, provision, and His never-ending loving kindness! To Him be all the glory now, and forevermore! Amen.
Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son! And now let the weak say, “I am strong,” Let the poor say, “I am rich,” Because of what the Lord has done for us.
–Words: Henry Smith.
Pastor Keith Pate