Why be thankful?

‘I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.’ Psalm 69.30

What does ‘being thankful’ mean to you? It might conjure up memories of being forced to sit down and write thank you letters after Christmas or on your birthday! After all, there is always the fear that unless we are thankful our benefactors may not be so generous in the future!

Is it possible that we feel similarly about God – that we need to be thankful to him in the fear that he might stop being good to us unless we are duly grateful? If so, this psalm gives us another reason for gratitude.

The NRVS translates it in this way: ’I will magnify him with thanksgiving’. The idea behind the phrase is that the more we are thankful to God, then the bigger our vision of him will become. The more we seek him, then the more we will actually see him acting throughout our lives. Gratitude, then, becomes something we do not out of duty, but out of wonder.

Take a moment now to look back over your past day and note with gratitude the hand of God in some of the things that happened. As you do this, it is likely that your vision of him will grow and your thanksgiving really will have magnified your awareness of his presence in your life.

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