Have you noticed that people these days don’t seem to be as thankful as they once were? When I was growing up, Mom and Dad taught us to express our appreciation to others; we were taught to say “please” and “thank you.” If someone did something nice for us, we were asked to send them a Thank You card in the mail. Even though we live in a digital age, I still do that; maybe you do, too. Are you a thankful person? Today’s passage begins with a timely reminder to be thankful. Let’s listen to it together:
I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising Him. I will praise Him for what He has done; may all who are oppressed listen and be glad! Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness; let us praise His Name together! I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me; He freed me from all my fears. (Psa. 34:1-4)
The psalmist began today’s passage by saying, “I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising Him.” The psalmist then proclaims how great God is and again encourages us to not only thank and praise God, but to tell others about the good things God has done for us. David ends with this comment: “I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me; He freed me from all my fears.” This reminds me of Paul’s command in his first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” Wow. Is this how you react to challenges in your life? This is just one of the reasons why we should praise and thank God. If we will trust Him, He will deliver us from our fears. But, notice that Scripture doesn’t say that God will deliver us from all of our problems. Sometimes our problems are not nearly as powerful as our fears, are they? When we call upon the Lord, we may still have our problems, but if we trust Him to take care of us, we won’t have to live in fear. I’m talking to someone today. You are struggling with your fears, right now. Let me encourage you to go to Jesus and offer Him your thanks and praise. Thank Him for His many kindnesses to you. Thank Him for His many answers to prayer over your lifetime, even those times when you knew you weren’t being entirely faithful to Him. Confess your sins and your fears and then offer Him your thanks and praise.
You may not know what to do about your problems today but Jesus always knows what to do...and that’s very Good News!