Sunday, July 05, 2015


I will praise You with my whole heart….  (Psalm 138:1a)

Every day should be Thanksgiving Day!  Of all people on earth, Christians should be most glad and grateful.  God sent His Son in love for us to experience our hell that we might go to His heaven.  Are you thankful?  Jim Elliff has said, “One peek into hell and we wouldn’t need a special day called Thanksgiving.”  David had a thankful heart as seen in Psalm 138. 

A thankful heart is rooted in our PERCEPTION OF GOD’S PERSON (v.1-2).  Look at the focus of these verses: You; Your; He—the LORD.  True worship flows from a heart that is overwhelmed with the greatness of God.  This is the spontaneous reaction when we see Him as He truly is.  We cannot see God if we have “I” trouble—that’s a capital “I” that focuses on what we want and don’t have.  That leads only to complaining. Another reason we fail to be thankful is that we may not feel thankful.  Emotions are fickle things.  They are as changeable as the weather.  David makes a volitional choice: I will praise You; I will sing praises to You; I will worship….”   Thankfulness is a decision.  The psalmist expresses his thanks in singing and speaking praise. This spirit of thankfulness is whole-hearted and full-throated.  Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  If the well of your soul is full of awe,  the bucket of your mouth will pour out praise.

A thankful heart responds with our PROCLAMATION OF GOD’S POWER (v.3-6).  In a day of weakness, David had cried out desperately for God to deliver and he experienced the mighty power of God (v.3).  It doesn’t seem that God removed the problem, but gave strength to endure it. In the first case, he was thankful for who God is and in this case for what God has done.  King David looks to the day when all kings of earth will bow before the King of Eternity (v.4-5).  Indeed, in a world that seems to defy God and seethe with hatred for Christ—a world that despises all that is holy—we are thankful that maybe soon, God will say, “Enough!” and “every knee shall bow…and…every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil.2:10-11).  With David we say, “Great is the glory of the LORD!” 

A thankful heart reflects on the PRESERVATION OF GOD’S PEOPLE (v.7).  We can praise God because outward difficulty need not keep us in inward discouragement.  David says that even as he walks in the middle of a mess, he is confident his soul will be revived and refreshed.  The enemy may seem to have the advantage, but God will win the victory.  Jesus promised to preserve His people.  He said, “Upon this Rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  The storm clouds are gathering—foul winds of hell are blowing—fearful thunderbolts of the enemy are falling—floods of evil are rising—yet, we are on the Rock and we shall stand!  Troublesome times are here, but God will revive the true church!

A thankful heart rejoices in the PERFECTION OF GOD’S PURPOSE (v.8).  It seems I am always in the middle of a project at our house.  Many of us have such projects, and like me, you find them uncompleted.  God, however, never does that!  Be thankful for such mercy.  It is enduring!  He will never fail—and I am glad!

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