“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (9:1-2)
In this Psalm (written for congregational singing), David reminds us of the proper way to respond to God’s faithfulness in our lives. His first thought… should be our first thought… to offer up our thanks/praise to our God at all times and with an undivided heart.
This is also a striking New Testament theme. We are commanded to “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18) And we are to commit our hearts to “giving thanks at all times for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father.” (Eph. 5:20)
When we really think about it… we always have a reason to be thankful. Even if our lives are in the midst of one of those difficult seasons (where it is so easy to grumble and complain about our circumstances) we need to stop and realize to WHOM we belong! Even if the storms of life are raging all around us, we have the Master of all creation with us!
Perhaps, the reason we find it so difficult to live a life full of thanksgiving and praise is because our hearts often become so divided. Our focus shifts from issue to issue, from problem to problem.. instead of keeping our eyes on the One Who has promised to care for us every moment of our lives. When we lose sight of God’s Face, we tend to lose sight of the fact that we are in His Hands.
Maybe that is why the writer of the Hebrew letter admonishes us: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:2) Our focus almost always determines our heart’s responses.
David offers us a daily solution… He declares: “I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” David makes it a practice to actually take the time to look back and recall each instance of God’s faithfulness towards him.
Remember the song “Count your blessings… name them one by one.” David was the original artist of that thought. When God is so difficult to see in our present circumstances, we can always look back at how He has protected us, blessed us, provided for us, and demonstrated His faithfulness to us, in our past. Seeing God’s goodness, in days gone by, gives us hope and faith to trust Him when we can’t quite see Him in our present.
A life full of joy begins with a thankful, undivided heart… committed to openly praising God for His love and kindness to us – because we belong to Him.