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Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. Psalm 117:1
When I was a new believer in Jesus, a spiritual mentor encouraged me to keep a thanks journal. It was a little booklet I carried with me everywhere I went. Sometimes I would record a thanksgiving right away. Other times, I would pen it at the end of the week during a time of reflection.
Taking note of praise items is a good habit—one I’m considering re-establishing in my life. It would help me to be mindful of God’s presence and grateful for His provision and care.
In the shortest of all the psalms, Psalm 117, the writer encourages everyone to praise the Lord because “great is his love toward us” (v. 2).
Think about it: How has the Lord shown His love toward you today, this week, this month, and this year? Don’t just look for the spectacular. His love is seen in the ordinary, everyday circumstances of life. Then consider how He has shown His love toward your family, your church, and to others. Let your mind soak up the extent of His love for all of us.
The psalmist added that “the faithfulness of the Lordendures forever” (v. 2 emphasis added). In other words, He will continue to love us! So we will continue to have many things to praise God for in the coming days. As His dearly loved children, may praising and thanking God characterize our lives!
Father, if we were to record all of Your blessings, we could not complete the task in a lifetime. But we can pause this moment to say a simple “Thank You” for Your faithfulness and goodness.
Remember to thank God for the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
Have you noticed how hard it can be to be thankful when we are focused on what has been withheld from us? Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were probably content until they were led to believe that God was holding out on them.
Many generations later, the family of Israel struggled with contentment and thankfulness during their journey to the Promised Land. God gave them the annual celebration of Passover to help them remember their wonder-filled rescue from slavery in Egypt. In a group of songs known as the Egyptian Hallel (Pss. 113–118) they reminded one another to “give thanks to the Lord” for His faithful acts of love that fill the earth and endure forever (118:1). Those words aren’t just for God’s chosen people, Israel. In Psalm 117, the shortest of all of their national psalms, Israel invites the nations of the world to join with them in their songs of thanksgiving for God’s goodness and miraculous acts of rescue.
Together we are all still learning to thank God—not for everything that has happened to us—but rather that, in everything, our good God is with us.