Your Steadfast Love Endures Forever —
Father, Help Me To Focus on My Blessings,
Not on My Wants or Desires
Scripture for today: Psalm 106:1 (ESV)
“Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!”
Did you know that this very verse is repeated again in Psalm 107:1 and again in Psalm 118:1? Why is it so important that it would be written more than once in almost the exact wording. This got me thinking about the importance of being thankful.
Gratitude journals are showing up everywhere on the shelves of stores. Participating in the annual Thanksgiving season “what am I thankful for today” commentary is very popular on social media. I have wondered though– Are the things we are notably thankful for the very things that we have asked for, prayed for, or desired to happen? Is there more to thankfulness than being glad I got something I wanted? Is there more to giving thanks than what we see on the surface? I think the answer is right in front of us. YES.
This verse states, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good”. It doesn’t say Give thanks to the LORD for granting all my wishes, giving me all I ever wanted…etc. The proclamation that ‘God is good’ is enough reason for the psalmist to give thanks. Do we believe that God wants us to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us? Does He remind us that everything we have is a gift from Him? Do we believe He is good?
If we don’t recognize these are indeed gifts, we are left to our own arrogance, our selfishness, our thinking that we are capable of achieving these things apart from Him. And what are the blessings we are forgetting to be thankful for? What are the everyday things we take for granted instead of giving thanks for them?
Rarely do I give thanks for hot water or electricity because I have come to expect this is a “given” where I live. Seldom do I thank Him for allowing pain or an uncomfortable relationship or experience to enter my life. Why? I know I learn and grow from such things…but I’d rather not go through it. It seems impossible to be grateful for hard stuff. Yet…He is good. God’s will is for us to give thanks in everything.
We aren’t thanking him for the pain–we are thankful that he sustains us. We don’t thank him for the harm others bring us–we thank him that he provides us strength to endure it. Our relationship with God is the only relationship that we are assured of the Steadfast Love that the psalmist writes about. The unwavering, firmly fixed, purposeful, faithful love. None of us can offer that to another person. We may try, but God never fails.
By giving thanks to God we can keep our hearts fixed on Him. We can stay in right relationship with Him. And I believe we can begin to see more and more of the gifts he bestows upon our lives. Because of His steadfast love I can have a thankful heart even when I am hurt, even when I grieve, even when I don’t understand. For He works all things for the good of those who love him. Thank you LORD.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture references: James 1:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, James 1:12, Romans 8:28, Hebrews 13:15