A Right Response To A Righteous God.
“O LORD, what great miracles you do! And how deep are your thoughts.” – Psalms 92:5 NLT
Thanksgiving. Singing. Declaring His lovingkindness. Gladness. Joy. Fruitfulness. Recognition of His sovereignty.
These two Psalms paint a clear picture of how the people of God should respond to Him. As we learn to reflect on all that He has done in the past and all that He is doing around us in the present, we will see life from a different perspective. As we read the Word and discover His character and learn about His great acts of goodness and righteousness to His people over the years, we grow in our optimism and trust. We are more apt to rejoice even when things do not appear to go the way we would like them to go, because we know and understand His character. Thanksgiving and praise come more readily and freely because we see life from God’s perspective. He is powerful, loving, righteous, just, and causes His people to live fruitful lives even in times of difficulty.
One of the things we tend to forget is that God is ruler over everything and everyone. Because we see the world as out of control, we tend to believe that God is somehow a powerless spectator to the events going on around us or, worse yet, a disinterested deity who could do something about it, but just chooses not to. But the Psalmist reminds us that God reigns and rules on high. “The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken” (Psalms 93:1 NLT). God is in complete control. And He is powerful. “But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore––the LORD above is mightier than these!” (Psalms 93:4 NLT).
Praise and thanksgiving come naturally when we truly believe these things about God. But when we are filled with doubt about His power and majesty, when we don’t recognize His faithfulness and love for us, then we find it hard to thank Him in times of difficulty. But where do we learn about God? How can we grow in our confidence in His character and power? One way is through the reading of His Word. As we read the Scriptures, we are given a glimpse into the incredible character of God as it is exposed in the stories of God’s interactions with mankind. We see His love, mercy, kindness, and righteousness, but we also see His anger, justice, holiness, and hatred of sin. We also see God’s redemptive nature. How He wants to rescue mankind out of their slavery to sin and gave the life of His own Son to make it happen. The Bible is a picture of who God is. The stories are reminders of His character. He is the same today as He was then. But we also can learn of God’s character as He works in and around our lives today. We can see His character revealed in our lives and in the lives of those around us. But we have to know what to look for. We can see His faithfulness and love as we encounter other believers who come alongside us in times of difficulty. Their love is an expression of His love. We can see God’s power when we see marriages restored or sicknesses healed. We can see God’s provision every time we eat a meal, deposit a paycheck or pay a bill. He provided the means to do them all. We can see God’s matchless mercy and grace every time we find ourselves falling into sin yet again. Each time we do, we can go to Him for forgiveness and He always extends it. We can see God in our lives, but we have to train ourselves to look for Him. And when we learn to see Him, we begin to thank Him, to sing His praises, to declare His goodness and mercy. Just like the Psalmist.
Father, it is good to give thanks to You. I spend far too much time complaining and far too little time being grateful. And You have given me much to be grateful for. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men