Praise the LORD!
I qwill give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart,
in the company of rthe upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the sworks of the LORD,
tstudied by all who delight in them.
3 uFull of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his vrighteousness endures forever.
4 He has wcaused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he xremembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are ytrustworthy;
8 they are zestablished forever and ever,
to be performed with afaithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent bredemption to his people;
he has ccommanded his covenant forever.
dHoly and awesome is his name!
10 eThe fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have fa good understanding.
His gpraise endures forever!
Starting this Monday I offer to you Psalm 111. Here we join into a session of praise and thanks. Another word we can use here is gratitude.
Synonyms – thanks, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness.
As I sat in service last Saturday night and listened to the message from Nehemiah, this thought of gratitude over took me. Looking back over the last 7-8 years there has been a very significant CHANGE of attitude in my own life. This change has included virtually everything: Marriage, career, ministry, finances, family, friendships, & geography. I would even say that EVERY aspect of my life has changed from the way it was in late 2010. Often I believe it is very difficult to FEEL gratitude while in the middle of messes or amidst a change, however I believe it is vital to our growth in Christ. Gratitude pushes away pride, raises humility, and instills trust for us.
While the message went on about Nehemiah and the first step of PRAYER in our lives for everything, this gratitude I have for Christ just took over. I starred into the eyes of my wife and could see the same thoughts remained for her. How did it happen? How incredible was the way God changed things? What is next for us? So many other questions that can come but the resonating message was gratitude, thankfulness, praise, appreciation. This is what we are reading in Psalm 111.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are ytrustworthy;
8 they are zestablished forever and ever…
So many of the sentences stick out to me but above all else, God is worthy of our gratitude. God is ready to hear us say YES, and say THANK YOU and say, SHOW US YOUR WILL. Gratitude will take an angry heart and bring it joy, Gratitude will take a bad habit and turn to positive disciplines, gratitude will push out resentment and open up mouths of thankfulness. I have seen too many lives changed by giving praise in the mess to know any different. The only thing in the way of a thankful and praise filled heart, is ourselves. Our selfish wants and desires, our coveting eyes, and dark thoughts, all can be conquered through gratitude. He knows. He sees. He cares. And He wants you to know, see and care that He has you covered. From the cross, to the grave, and then back up to the heavens, there is NOTHING that cannot be handled by the Great I am.
This morning, when your prayer begins to turn from His image to your wants and needs, bring it back around. Pull the thoughts back to His power, His kingdom, His might and His wisdom. Pull your words back to gratitude, and praise and listen for His response to your life today. It has been said so many times, we come to God’s ocean of grace with a teaspoon, when really we should be ready for Him to open up the flood gates! We want to see Him!