Psalm of Thanks

Thank the Lord because he is good.  His love continues forever. (Psalm 118:1, NCV)

We thank You for Your goodness, Lord. We admit we do not understand it because we are not good on our own. We try to be good, but we fail. Thank You for never failing in Your goodness. Thank You for never responding sinfully to us. We are so thankful that Your love continues forever without pause or disruption. We can rest in peace and approach You with confidence and security because of Your goodness and love. Thank You for giving us far more life.

I was in trouble, so I called to the Lord.  The Lord answered me and set me free. I will not be afraid, because the Lord is with me. People can’t do anything to me. The Lord is with me to help me, so I will see my enemies defeated. It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people. It is better to trust the Lord than to trust princes. (Psalm 118:5-9, NCV)

Thank You, Lord, for answering our prayers for help. We are thankful that Your presence protects us from fear, because nothing is unknown to You. Knowing that Your infallible power is at work allows us to be brave. Thank You that what is most important — our souls — are always safe with You. Whatever happens to our bodies, no person or force can harm our souls. Thank You that even if our enemies appear to win in this lifetime, ultimately You will defeat our true enemy. Thank You for repeatedly proving Yourself trustworthy and showing us far more life.

All the nations surrounded me, but I defeated them in the name of the Lord. They surrounded me on every side, but with the Lord’s power I defeated them. The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me. (Psalm 118:10-11, 14, NCV)

We may not have enemy nations surrounding us, Lord, but we thank You for Your protection. Whatever enemy we face — whether physical, spiritual, emotional, or mental — it cannot overcome our souls. Thank You for giving us strength. Thank You for giving us peace and joy that leads to a song-filled heart. Thank You for saving us from danger and destruction and giving us far more life.

Shouts of joy and victory come from the tents of those who do right: “The Lord has done powerful things.” The power of the Lord has won the victory; with his power the Lord has done mighty things. (Psalm 118:15-16, NCV)

Thank You for giving us opportunities to praise You. Thank You for giving us voices to proclaim the powerful things You have done. Thank You for giving us poems, songs, stories, and voices to share Your work and make Your name famous. It is You who has won the victory over sin, despair, evil, and more. Thank You for doing mighty things in us, through us, and for us so we can experience far more life.

I will not die, but live, and I will tell what the Lord has done. The Lord has taught me a hard lesson, but he did not let me die. (Psalm 118:17-18, NCV)

Thank You for the times You have rescued us from physical death, even if we were unaware. When we face difficulties, thank You for faithfully and patiently teaching us about Yourself and Your work in our lives. Thank You for rescuing us from spiritual death and blessing us with far more life. We will thank You for all eternity, as You deserve!

Open for me the Temple gates. Then I will come in and thank the Lord. This is the Lord’s gate; only those who are good may enter through it. Lord, I thank you for answering me. You have saved me. (Psalm 119:19-21, NCV)

Thank You that we can talk directly to You, Lord. We are privileged to thank You personally. Thank You, Jesus, for opening the gate and inviting us into a relationship. Thank You for filling us with Your goodness, so we can come before Your throne. Thank You for listening to our prayers and answering them. Thank You for drawing us to salvation from the consequences of our sin so we can walk in far more life.

The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today! (Psalm 118: 22-24, NCV)

Thank You for allowing us to benefit from Your suffering, Lord Jesus. We can rejoice every day because of Your sacrifice for us. We can be glad every day because of Your wonderful gift. Thank You for giving us life — and far more life, too.

You are my God, and I will thank you; you are my God, and I will praise your greatness. Thank the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever. (Psalm 118:28-29, NCV)

Thank You for being our God, Creator, and King. Thank You for demonstrating Your love and goodness so clearly to us. Thank You for today and every day that we can spend in fellowship with You. Thank You for every moment of far more life on earth and in heaven.

Sisters,
What aspect of God’s character are you thankful for? Give him your praise for that!
Thank God for something He has rescued you from. Or helped you through.
Thank God for a lesson He has allowed you to learn.
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, thank Him for that. If you do not, please send me a message or ask a friend how you can accept His gift of salvation.
Tell God what far more life means to you — and thank Him for offering it to you.
-Shari

Copyright 2020, Shari Damaso

Far More Thanks

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me. (Psalm 50:23, NASB)

Offering thanks to God does not sound like a sacrifice, but sometimes it is. We can be so bogged down — by a hard situation or just the daily demands of life — that we forget to be thankful. It takes effort to consciously include it in our thoughts and prayers. God knows this, so He gave us clear instructions:

Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this. (I Thessalonians 5:18, GW)

God’s will — His desire, His best plan for us — is that we thankfully remember all He has done for us and all He provides for us. We find far more life when we look beyond our circumstances and give thanks. Thankfulness is a powerful tool that helps us keep our hearts and minds in alignment with His perspective.

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; (Colossians 4:2, NASB)

I confess that I spend more prayer time asking God for things than thanking Him. It is easy to focus on my request — especially when interceding for someone else — and forget to thank God. When I fail to give thanks, I can easily slip into the mindset that God should do what I want and fulfill all my wishes, desires, and requests. But that is not God’s best for me!

When we follow His instruction and maintain an attitude of thankfulness in our prayers we are more likely to walk in far more life. We become alert to thoughts and feelings that are contrary to the power of the Spirit. We more consistently experience the peace, joy, and other fruit of the Spirit rather than falling into anger, apathy, or dissatisfaction. We handle disappointment better and can more fully connect with others in their joys and struggles. We feel more satisfied and find far more life even in circumstances where it previously eluded us.

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. (Psalm 9:1, NASB)

Focusing on thankfulness helps us recognize God’s work in and around us, often in situations where we would otherwise overlook it. We are faster to give God credit and our faith is strengthened. We grow in patience, kindness, generosity, and graciousness since we see the evidence of His work. We are slower to become fearful or worried as our trust in Him increases. We are also more aware of our need for Him and our limitations, which makes us more likely to follow His instructions. Giving thanks goes beyond the words we say; it is a far more life mindset that impacts how we perceive and respond to the world around us.

There is scientific support that supports God’s instruction. A 2014 article in Forbes shared these research-backed benefits of thankfulness:

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships; people are more likely to seek out a relationship with someone who expresses thanks.
  • Gratitude improves physical health, including fewer aches and pains and increased likelihood of exercise and self-care.
  • Gratitude improves psychological health, including increased happiness and decreased depression.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression, leading to lower interest in retaliation or revenge.
  • People sleep better and longer when they write in a thankfulness journal before bed.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem and reduces comparing ourselves to others.
  • Gratitude increases mental strength, reducing stress and increasing resilience to difficulty.

No wonder God instructed us to be thankful!

I know many people have Thanksgiving traditions to help them remember thankfulness. Consider building on that to form a new habit: daily thankfulness. The sacrifice is small compared to the far more life it reaps.

Sisters,
Does giving thanks require sacrifice? What barriers get in your way?
What helps you give thanks in difficult circumstances?
How can you incorporate more thanksgiving into your prayers?
What benefits do you notice at times you are thankful?
I hope today is the start of a year of thankfulness — and a year of far more life!
-Shari

Copyright 2019-20, Shari Damaso