The Herald Weekly Vol XV : 39


If I were to ask you to list 10 reasons to give thanks to the Lord, what would your 10 reasons be?

Lamentations 3:22-24 tells us that God’s compassion does not fail. His mercies and His faithfulness are new every morning. As people who used to have a hopeless end because of our slavery to self and sin, we need to give thanks to God because Jesus Christ gives us the reason for a life with endless hope.

The theme throughout Psalm 136 is about being thankful to God, and the resounding reason is always because of His mercy which endures forever. Indeed, it is because of the Lord’s mercies, we are not condemned to eternal death.

The psalm tells us that God should be praised for His works of creation and providence, His deliverance and care of His people; His judgments on their enemies, and His goodness to all. The chorus to every verse in Psalm 136 is found also in Ps 106:1 and Ps 118:1-4, and perhaps recited at the end of each prayer the Israelites made to God. Bible commentators remind us that the great things God did for Israel, when He brought them out of Egypt, and led them into the Promised Land, were mercies which endured for a long time to them. Our redemption by Christ, and the promise of eternal life in heaven typifies God’s mercies towards us, and these endure for ever too. It is thus very important for all of God’s people to remember God’s favours, and in each favour we receive, we are to recognise that God’s mercy endures forever.

The frequently sung contemporary song of praise “10,000 Reasons” (also known as “Bless the Lord, O my soul”) lists many reasons to bless and praise God’s holy name, and these are found in Psalm 103. In thanksgiving to God, we bless and praise His name. We want to exalt and worship Him. The psalms are full of the blessings that His people bring before Him. Indeed, when we are thankful to God, we remember all the attributes of God, and praise Him for them: His counsel (Ps 16:7), His holiness (Ps 103:1), His power and dominion over all things (Ps 103:22), His honour and majesty (Ps 104:1). We bring praises and blessings in our worship of Him because He deserves them.

God’s blessings on us are undeserved because we are a sinful people, forgetful and often unthankful. Therefore we must understand that it is by His grace and mercies thatHe continues to bless us in spite of who we are. Our thanksgiving to, and blessing of God is therefore done out of an understanding that He is the true praiseworthy Creator of heaven and earth. God is glorified when we bless and praise and acknowledge Him in the form of praise, adoration, thanksgiving and love. That is what we were originally created for.

Hindrances to being thankful to God

1. Turning a deaf ear to God’s Word

Proverbs 28:9 says “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” When we ignore and not heed God’s words, our prayers become detestable to His ears. Therefore, we should not be perturbed when our prayers are unanswered.

God promises us success only when we are obedient to His commandments. God said to Joshua in Josh 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

2. Unconfessed sins

Psalm 68:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Isaiah 1:15 also says, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

Therefore, it is necessary for us to repent, and confess our sins to God because He is faithful in forgiving us (1 Jn 1:9). Remember, God forgave King David of his adultery with Bathsheba when David acknowledged his sin. “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13).

Today, let us come before God and ask Him to:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Ps 139:23-24). When we have experienced His forgiveness and healing, we will truly be able to open our hearts and mouths to praise and thank Him as we worship Him in the manner that pleases Him.

Pastor Bob Phee

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