To ask for something is seldom difficult, especially when the need is great and the desire is strong. But to give thanks so often is hard to do and easily forgotten, because the thrill of enjoying what we have gotten overwhelms us. We will not easily forget to ask; but to give thanks is quite a different matter.
It is no wonder then that we are so lacking in praise and thanksgiving to God. When rain becomes a desperate need, churches will set aside a day to pray for it. But do they set aside days during the week to praise and thank God for all He bestows upon us? The nation sets aside a day of thanksgiving for crops and prosperity. Do the churches set aside days to thank God for His mercy, love, and grace, for salvation and all its benefits? Do we take time in the day, and do our prayers express praise and thanksgiving? Or are our prayers mere requests?
Follow in the footsteps of Asaph after he had gone to God's house and understood the goodness of God. He had found it so easy to complain and to accuse God at least in his thoughts — of unfaithfulness. But when he understood God's works, after going to His sanctuary, he praised God with those words, "truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart'' Psalm 73:1 . And well may we sing that versification of this Psalm that contains this beautiful chorus:
My God, I will extol Thee
And ever bless Thy name;
Each day will I give thanks to Thee
And all Thy praise proclaim.
Do that today. Pray for blessings, for they are promised by God in His goodness. But thank Him for sending His Son so that showers of blessings may fall upon us. Live in the shadow of the cross, and because of it cry out of the goodness of God to His people. Too often our prayers are complaints. Not often enough are they praise. Yet because of all His goodness, we have even reason to praise Him by thanking Him as the God of our salvation.
Quote for Reflection:
¼ it is with regard to men that God is said to reign, when he exalts himself by the magnificent displays which he gives of his power; because, while the aid which he gives to them remains invisible, unbelievers act a more presumptuous part, just as if there were no God. – John Calvin
- Date: 5-January