Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
Psalm 136 calls believers to give thanks for many reasons, the main one being that God's gracious love -- His forgiveness and mercy in Jesus Christ -- endures forever. Similarly, Saint Paul admonishes us to "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
How can we give thanks when we are sick, lose our job or a loved one, or find ourselves in other sad circumstances? The answer is that God still loves us. In bad times God draws us to Himself in a special show of love and reveals Himself as a mighty and merciful helper. He is there when we sorely need Him, and our problems often make us appreciate His love more.
An uplifting experience for us Christians is to begin our daily prayers with thanksgiving -- with thanks to God for His Word, for our Savior and the Spirit-created faith in Him, for our church, our family and friends, our health, hope, money, home, automobile, and other blessings. Not all Christians will have the same list of blessings, but all will have a long list. Praying with thankful hearts comes from the conviction that God is good and that His love for us in Christ endures forever.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, make us thankful for all our countless blessings. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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