thankfulnessworshipWell yesterday was thanksgiving. We all experienced lots of things. Friends. Family. Football. Turkey. Black Friday. Oh, and being thankful. It’s funny how that so often gets obligatorily tacked in there out of some sense of duty. We roll our eyes. We gripe under our breath that the food will get cold. We think no one will take this “saying what we’re thankful” part seriously. We wonder why it’s so awkward and hard to be thankful on thanksgiving for our world and for us. I think it’s because most people (us included) don’t take it seriously in our own lives. It’s something we force like going to Church because “it’s what we do” or other such traditions we mime along neither convincingly nor sincerely. We know we’re supposed to be thankful, so why don’t we feel thankful?

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24)

Notice David doesn’t say “let’s rejoice one day a year”. He says this is the day that God has made. Which day has God made? Did He just create Sundays? Did God simply ordain holidays? He made each and every day. So if you find yourself in a day that God has made you should rejoice and be glad. The next question we might ask is, well what are we to rejoice and be glad in? Funny how it’s so hard to think of what to be thankful for, what to rejoice over or what to be happy about.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever….Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:1–26)

We’re to rejoice over another day to breathe. We’re to give thanks to God because His steadfast love is enduring and will continue to be so forever. We’re to rejoice and be glad because God alone does great wonders. We’re to be thankful that God made the heavens and spread out the earth and the waters. Oh and His steadfast love endures forever. Notice how important that is. It’s repeated over and over throughout this Psalm. His strong love perseveres for all of eternity. His love is strong and steadfast, it is without end and it does not give up. It has existed in ages past and will continue to go on existing beyond the end of time.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
(James 1:17–18)

You see not only did God create each and every day as well as all of creation but each and every single good and perfect gift that you and I enjoy and love are from Him. Let me say that again. Every single thing that is good in my life, every perfect moment, all good music, the most delicious turkey dinner, the amazing athletic skills, the wonderful family, the friends we love, the Church we have, that delicious piece of pie you’re eating right now. It is all from God. Look around you right now and think of all the things you enjoyed today, the things you took for granted, the people you overlooked that helped you, that encouraged you. That car accident you almost but didn’t get into last week. It’s all from Him. How can that not lead each of us to worship? How can focusing on that not make us the most enthusiastic-joyful-ecstatic people on the face of the earth? The heart of worship is thanksgiving. If I have trouble giving thanks I’ll have trouble entering into the true heart of worship. If you can’t figure out what you’re thankful for then how can you enter into worship?

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.
(Psalm 138:1–5)

“Let us praise God for common mercies, for they prove to be uncommonly precious when they are once taken away. Bless God that you were able to walk here, and are able to walk home again. Bless God for your reason: bless him for your existence. Bless God for the means of grace, for an open Bible, for the throne of grace, for the preaching of the Word. You that are saved must lead the song. “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Bless him for his Son. Bless him for his Spirit. Bless him for his Fatherhood. Bless him that you are his child. Bless him for what you have received. Bless him for what he has promised to give. Bless him for the past, the present, and the future. Bless him in every way, for everything, at all times, and in all places. Let all that is within you bless his holy name. Go your way rejoicing.” -Charles Spurgeon