It is easy to become caught up in our lives to the point that we forget to embrace gratitude. Some of my favorite verses include “give thanks unto the Lord” because they serve as an important reminder that I am not alone. God is pouring His blessings down on me even if I don’t recognize them!
Oh Give Thanks unto the Lord in All Things
Every year the kids and I memorize Psalm 100. It is short and easy to understand. I want them to learn to give thanks to the Lord in all things and sometimes having verses run through their heads is a good place to start!
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100:1-5)
Give thanks unto the Lord with a joyful shout!
Serve Him with gladness and embrace Him as our faithful creator. This faith alone is a reason for gratitude!
We give thanks unto the Lord because He is good, His mercy lasts forever, and His truth never ends. We serve a living God who is always present. Ponder this if you are having a bad day.
His Mercy Endures Forever Meaning
What is the meaning of “His mercy endures forever”? I want to point this out because at the very base of our praise should be a heart overflowing with thanksgiving for our God who is merciful.
Mercy is defined as “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
Give thanks unto the Lord because He has forgiven us of our sins, He has poured love and healing upon us and embraced us even though He is Holy and cannot abide sin.
I believe David understood that salvation would come later on in the form of the Messiah. He could easily proclaim “give thanks unto the Lord” because His mercy is everlasting. It does not end. He continues to love and forgive and treasure us as His children.
How beautiful is that??
The exact phrase “His mercy endures forever” is repeated over and over in Psalm 136.
Who remembered us in our lowly state,
For His mercy endures forever;
24 And rescued us from our enemies,
For His mercy endures forever;
25 Who gives food to all flesh,
For His mercy endures forever.
26 Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136:23-26)
The entire Psalm is inspiring because it gives example after example of what God has done for us and after each one repeats “His mercy endures forever”. Another good one to read aloud with the kids because the repeated phrase can be said together in unison.
The Shepherd’s Psalm
With the Bible full of “give thanks unto the Lord” verses one might not think of the shepherd’s psalm as one of gratitude, but I’d like to break it down and show you how David’s heart was overflowing with gratitude because he understood God as a good shepherd that provided for his every need.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
David is thanking God for taking care of his needs.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters”
God provides for all of our physical needs such as food and water.
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”
God also provides for our spiritual needs. Our troubled souls find rest in Him and He guides and teaches us His truth.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”
Before I lost Rebekah I believed that the “valley of the shadow of death” was a physical place and I imagine for many people it is. For me it became the dangerous place in my mind where the darkness and fear and guilt surrounding Rebekah’s accident overcame me and my faith failed.
The absolute worst time of my life, but God never left me. He remains beside me, guiding me forward and surrounding me with love and security.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
God gives us hope! No matter what is going on around us, we are feasting on His goodness, mercy, and love. He gives us all that we need (and more!).
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Not only does God provide for us here on earth, but promises us eternal life in Heaven!
Embracing a Life of Gratitude Begins with Giving Thanks Unto the Lord
True gratitude comes from a heart and life of thanksgiving to our God and creator. The one who reached down in all His holiness and forgave our sins through His son Jesus Christ.
I believe that the first step to embracing a life of gratitude is giving thanks unto the Lord whose mercy endures forever!
What Psalms of thanksgiving do you like? Share your favorites in the comments below!
Read the rest of the Embracing a Life of Gratitude Series!