Be Thankful

Text Psalm 100:1-5 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath 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 unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

The title that precedes Psalm 100 in my Bible is, “A Psalm of Praise.” I notice that unlike some, this particular psalm is not attributed to any specific author or event in time. I think there is a reason for both; no matter who it may be and what is occurring, it is always an acceptable time to praise the LORD! Within Psalm 100 there are at least four aspects of praise that readily surface and manifest themselves. Praise manifests itself with the salutations of grandeur; “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Praise manifests itself with the service of glee; “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Praise manifests itself with the singing of gladness; “come before his presence with singing.” And, praise manifests itself with the spirit of gratitude; “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving.”

Yet, amid this psalm of praise there are two words in verse 4 that captured my attention, generating a spirit of conviction; “be thankful.” While it should be the natural out flow of my heart; is it necessary for the Spirit of God to remind me to “be thankful.” Paul speaking of the perilous times that would come said that those days could be identified by the following signs; “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (II Timothy 3:2-5). Note that one of the hideous signs of those days is being “unthankful.” While my outward physical actions and activities may not be associated with those wicked days, does the inward attitude of an unthankful spirit tell a different story?

Having reminded me of my need to be thankful, the psalmist then places before us the motivation for being thankful. The motivation for being thankful is the consideration of a person; “For the LORD” (vs.5). The motivation for our thankfulness isn’t about money or materialism; it’s all about the Master, the Self-Existent and Eternal God! We should be thankful because “the LORD is good.” The terms that the psalmist uses to describe the LORD means good in the widest sense; to be, to do, or make good. Speaking of the character of God, Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). Has there ever been a time in your life that the LORD has been anything less than good? The Bible said that it was “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Romans 2:4). We are to be thankful because of “his mercy.” In spite of the fact that He has the right to execute judgment at any time, He delights in extending mercy; “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). We are to be thankful because of “his truth.” The word means firmness, security, moral fidelity and comes from a word meaning trustworthiness. Solomon said, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19). While we may be disappointed by man, we will never be disappointed by the Master, for the LORD will never prove to be unfaithful in the time of trouble. The LORD can be trusted in any situation!

May we turn our eyes away from the temporal aspects of materialism and focus upon the Master; the Self-Existent and Eternal God; the God that is ever good, merciful, and trustworthy in every aspect of life. May the quality of His character encourage us to “be thankful.”