Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
– Psalm 100
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
The words “thanksgiving”, “praise”, and “blessing” are repeated over and over in the Bible not only because God loves receiving them, but because practicing them keeps us spiritually healthy. They also serve as a witness to others. There is nothing that lifts the spirit as much as giving thanks, especially when life is challenging. Praising God comes naturally when life has been full of blessings, but how can we give praise when life is hard? Paul and Silas provide us a great example of finding joy in the Lord during difficult circumstances. After being beaten with rods and thrown into prison, Acts 16:25 states that “about midnight they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God.” Paul wrote in Romans 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Thanksgiving, praise, and blessing, if we are faithful to practice them, distinguish us God’s people and allow us to be “the salt of the earth.” The words “thanks” or “thanksgiving” are found 135 times in the Bible, “praise” appears 243 times, and “bless” or “blessing” are mentioned 478 times. We are meant to be a people of praise and thanksgiving; it’s God’s will. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
THE BIG QUESTION
Are you able to give thanks and praise God in all circumstances? Make it your aim to give thanks the next time you’re frustrated by something. Will you choose to focus on God’s goodness and the reasons you can give thanks even during frustrating circumstances?