Today, we begin a new series for the month of November here on the blog, looking at some of the thanksgiving-themed Psalms. Our hope with this blog series is that by looking at the topic of thanksgiving through the Psalms for an entire month (rather than just on a one-day holiday), you will overflow with thanksgiving toward God, which will impact the relationships around you and the joy inside of you. So join us each week here this month as we worship the Father together by letting the psalmists remind us to be filled with thanksgiving!
by Erin Bird
If you have a Bible near you, go ahead and open it to Psalm 100 and read this famous thanksgiving Psalm slowly once or twice. If you are feeling particularly lazy, here are the verses we are going to focus on today as we kick off this new series (but really, you should go read the whole Psalm - it will take you 30 seconds!)...
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations."
(Psalm 100:4-5, ESV)
We don't know exactly who wrote Psalm 100. But whoever he (or she?) was, the author was caught up in worshipping God when they penned it. If you look back to verse 1, you see the writer telling us "to make a joyful noise to the Lord." It seems like the psalmist was in the throes of worship of God, and is inviting readers to join in.
And in the middle of this worship, the poet requests we "enter [God's] gates with thanksgiving." Why?
Look at verse 5: "For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever."
We are to be filled with thanksgiving, because God's love and goodness never ends! This means that even in the midst of hardship, like losing a job, or losing a loved one, or worrying about bills, or worrying about the future, or worrying about college finals, we can be thankful because God's love for us will never cease.
But here's what happens next: As you focus on the continuous love of God, your eyes move off of your shortsighted problems onto the eternal goodness of God. Then you begin to see His goodness already in your life. Perhaps that goodness contains your family, or your friends, or your home, or your job, or the fact that you have food on your table today.
And when you see His goodness in your life, you can't help but be thankful.
This is why we are to "Give thanks to him" (verse 4). God is faithful (verse 5) and he is with us no matter how hard it might get. And this thought should cause us to burst forth in worship with a heart of thanksgiving.
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