"Thank You!" written in the sand

Give Thanks to the Lord

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

We often think of gratitude in terms of gain: Someone gives you a ride to work. A neighbor cooks a meal when you’ve had surgery. Your boss notices your hard work and gives you a raise. Of course you’re grateful. And if you remember your mother’s upbringing, you promptly write a thank-you note.

It’s more astonishing to witness people overcome with an attitude of thanksgiving in dire circumstances. Think of the parents of a terminally ill child who praise God for each day of their daughter’s life. You might be baffled by a family’s ability to be thankful in the midst of disaster, weeping with joy that even though their house and possessions have been destroyed by flood, fire or earthquake, their family has survived.

Even deeper than gratitude for a favor or thankfulness in the midst of misery, thanksgiving can be viewed as a testament to an enduring quality in someone we admire and respect. For instance, David celebrated God’s divine attributes with a heart of pure thanksgiving. With great fanfare, the Ark of the Covenant had finally arrived in Jerusalem and taken its place in the tent David had prepared for it. After the offerings were made and the feast was over, David’s gladness spilled over into a great song of jubilant thanksgiving.

Consider the countless reasons you have to be grateful.

Has something brought great joy to your life? Consider the attributes of those you love: your spouse’s faithfulness, your friends’ trust-worthiness, your parents’ goodness, a child’s tender heart.

Today is the perfect time to “give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.” Start by expressing thanks for some of the things David included in his prayer:

• “[God’s] wonderful acts . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:9)
• “His miracles . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:12)
• “His salvation . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:23)
• “His glory . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:24)
• “His marvelous deeds among all peoples . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:24)
• “His holiness . . .” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Everything about God is worthy of our praise. Let us not allow anyone or anything to rob us of the gift of a thankful heart. We can sing with David, “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns!’” (1 Chronicles 16:31).

Article drawn from a devotional in the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible.

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