What do you think is one of the most repeated commands in Scripture?
There are the famous Ten Commandments, a plethora of additional commands the Israelites were supposed to obey in the Old Testament, and of course the greatest commandment: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’… And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37,39)
But the command we are given more often than most throughout Scripture may surprise you. It is not a warning or a “thou shalt not.” It is simply this— give thanks!
The Hebrew word for “thanks” is used forty-seven times in the Psalms alone. If we look at each occurrence, we notice it is often accompanied by a specific reason for giving thanks. The psalmists learned general thanks is valuable, but there is power in naming what God has done in our lives!
Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”
Wherever we find ourselves today, there is always room for giving thanks. There is always space to recount the faithfulness of God in our lives.
In the harvest— give thanks.
In the desert— give thanks.
In the pain of heartbreak— give thanks.
In the disappointment of dreams lost— give thanks.
In the face of uncertainty— give thanks.
In the grief of death— give thanks.
In the celebration— give thanks!
And there, in the middle of our gratitude, is right where we find God! Because his command to give thanks is an invitation to enjoy Him! It is in our rehearsing, retelling, and recounting of what God has done that we see once again his grace, mercy, love, and kindness toward us.
When we remember what he’s done— that Jesus, for the joy set before him, endured the cross, emptied himself, humbled himself to the point of death so that we who believe in him could be made alive with him, that we should not perish but have everlasting life, we realize thankfulness is an act of praise! Our gratitude is worship!
And we see once again Jesus is worthy to receive all the worship we can bring!