Author: Paul Beckman, a member of Word of Life, a community of disciples on mission in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In Psalm 136 it says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
In the United States, every last Thursday of November is designated as “Thanksgiving Day.” Even in our profoundly secular society, there is a genuine, once-per-year focus on giving thanks. It’s not always clear who’s being thanked, but we somehow remember that we have been blessed.
The beauty of being a Christian is that we don’t only experience blessings, but we know – and know intimately, the One who is behind it all. This is a crucial aspect of being thankful, since it means that we are part of a personal relationship with the giver. We can focus on the person behind the gift and enjoy him, not just what he gives and does.
But the Psalm goes deeper and declares a key truth about the One to whom we give thanks: He is good. We think about what he gives us, and we thank him for what he has done. Thanking God is important, and doing so builds important character traits in us, like contentment and hope. But knowing that the Lord is intrinsically good means that we can rest in his ultimate plan and trust that “in all things, the Lord works for the best for those who love him” (Romans 8:28). And he not only works for our good today, but forever – all the time.
If we only focus on the blessings that are obvious, we can misjudge what’s going on around and to us. After all, we don’t always know what’s best for us, nor do we always understand what God intends for us and the good he seeks to bring to us. Believing in the Lord’s goodness towards us allows us to see events and circumstances in our lives as subject to his sovereign love and provision.
Let’s find grace to look beyond the outward details of life to the One whose steadfast love endures forever.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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