November 25, 2014
“In everything … with thanksgiving tell God every detail of your needs … And the peace of God which transcends human understanding will stand guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7)
As I have tried to apply what Paul prescribes in these verses (in the NIV and J.B. Phillips), I have found this prescription for peace to be more helpful than any other spiritual discipline. According to Paul, an attitude of gratitude leads to the therapy of thanksgiving as we apply thanksgiving to our stressful circumstances.
Be sure to make the observation that Paul does not prescribe giving thanks for all things. He instructs us to give thanks in all things. When we do this it automatically moves our mindset from the negative to the positive. The apostle promises that the peace of God will protect and stand guard (like the soldiers chained to Paul as he writes these words), over our hearts and minds as they rest and trust in Christ Jesus.
Our circumstances are not always determined by God but may be caused by evil people who are persecuting us. We cannot always control our circumstances – but we can control the way we respond to them. Paul is telling us to respond with thanksgiving, because if we do, we will find this response to be God’s prescription that will bring peace that can contribute to our victory over those circumstances.
When a pastor asked one of his members how they were doing, their response was “Pretty good pastor, under the circumstances.” The pastor responded “Whatever are you doing under there?”
The therapy of thanksgiving can lead us out from under our circumstances and into the peace of God.
Dick Woodward, 02 September 2009
March 14, 2012
“Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100: 4, 5)
In Hebrew culture names had great significance. When parents named a child the name they chose often expressed their desire for the life of their child. Sometimes the name was given to a child because certain events occurred surrounding the birth of the child. The significance of names is especially important when we consider the names of God in the Bible – they tell us much about God.
In this short psalm we are instructed to praise the name of God. We are to praise God because He is good. Rick Warren told us life is like a railroad track. The left rail represents this reality: there is always something negative in our life because God is more interested in our character than He is in our comfort. The right rail represents this reality: there is always something good in our life because God is good and He loves us.
In this very short psalm we are instructed to bless the name of God by focusing His goodness, His everlasting mercy, and His enduring truth. Mercy is His unconditional love and forgiveness. That word is found 366 times in the Bible because God knew we would need it every day and He even included a year like this leap year.
If we read the Bible looking for truth we will discover truth that endures to all generations. In the last verse of his shepherd psalm David informed us that the mercy of God pursued him like a hound of heaven. Will you fill and take this prescription for blessing the name of God?
February 22, 2012
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him…” (Psalm 100: 4)
Psalm 100 is the definitive worship psalm. This psalm tells us what worship is, what we should experience when we worship, how to worship, what we know, what should happen to us and what the results should be because we worshipped.
According to David worship is to come before God’s presence, and coming before the presence of God is like having an audience with a King. Our approach to the presence of God begins at the gates of thanksgiving. This means that in a corporate worship service, or in our private closet worship, we are to begin our approach to the presence of God by passing through the gates of thanksgiving.
As I attempt to maintain my spiritual equilibrium as a bed fast quadriplegic I get more spiritual mileage out of the therapy of thanksgiving than I do anything else. David has pointed me to the truth that when I begin thanking God I soon find myself in the courts of praise and coming into the presence of God with singing. In the presence of God I know that He is God, I am His sheep and I live in His pasture. Then I’m told again that I should keep on thanking Him.
As a result of this worship experience I am to know that God wants people in every land of this earth to know what it is to make joyful noises of worship in His presence. He also wants it to be known that His truth endures in all generations not only in past generations.
To that end He wants me to serve Him with gladness because I came into His presence with thanksgiving.
November 23, 2011
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100)
In this profound thanksgiving psalm David tells us that coming into the presence of God is like having an audience with a great King. That audience begins with the gates of thanksgiving that are followed by the courts of praise. In a corporate worship service or in your closet worship, always try to begin your approach to God at the gates of thanksgiving followed by the courts of praise.
I personally know of no other worship helps that mean more to me than to begin my approach to God with thanksgiving. When I begin thanking Him and praising Him for all my blessings I soon find myself coming before His presence with singing. In His presence I know that He is God. I know that He is my Shepherd and I am His sheep. I know that He is good, His mercy is everlasting and He wants me to share the truth of His Word in all the lands of this world because He wants people in all the lands of this world and in every generation to know what it is to make a joyful shout of worship in His presence.
Let this great worship psalm of David show you how to
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!