Psalm 107:1-9 1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.... 7 He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107 is all about thankfulness. Very specifically Psalm 107 repeats one verse four different times: Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men (vv. 8,15,21,31).
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Praise and gratitude are inseparable. Praise starts from the soles of our feet and comes up through the muscles and sinews and joints and organs of our bodies and bursts from our throats. It's with all of our hearts that we give God thanks. Gratitude is not something shallow or frivolous, flippant or superficial. It is the deepest expression of the soul in love with God. And that soul says, "With all my heart I give You thanks."
What bugs me, though, is when people express their gratitude on a day like today, late in November, and then return to their self-centered, dissatisfied, hopeless, and pathetic outlook on life the other 364 days.
Gratitude is more than an annual ritual performed hastily before diving into the Thanksgiving meal. It's more than a holiday decoration, more than a snappy word that rhymes with "attitude." Of all the human emotions, gratitude is the most powerful. So powerful is gratitude, it can obliterate fear, hopelessness, and doubt. Gratitude can heal a broken heart, slow the aging process, and restore broken relationships. Gratitude creates hope, and hope brings joy. It is in joy, not fear, that we find strength.