Praise and Thanksgiving

God wants us to worship Him.  Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” We should desire to worship God because He created us, had mercy on us to save us, and will bless us now and forever.  One of the ways we worship God is to praise and thank Him for what He has done and is doing for us.  Hebrews 13:15 “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

What should we praise God about?  First of all, we should praise Him for His creation.  He is the creator of all that we see and His creation is wonderful.  We can praise Him for the sun, moon, and stars and the vastness of the universe.  We can praise Him for the earth that supplies all that we need and for the sun that provides us warmth and energy.  We can praise Him for all of the trees and plants and for the beauty of flowers.  We can praise Him for the animals He created from the butterfly and all other insects, to the whale and other sea dwelling animals, to the horse and other land dwelling animals.  We can even praise Him for our human body that is crafted so that we can walk and sing and speak and see and hear and learn and worship Him.  I am sure you can think of many more things to praise God for His wonderful creation.

Then we should praise God for what He has done for us.  We can praise God for His great love, mercy, and grace that He has towards us.  Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  We can praise Him that He has chosen us to be His children and He is our loving Father.  1 John 3:1-2 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  We can even praise Him for the trials and testing and discipline that come into our lives because we know that He is using these to change us into the persons He wants us to be.  Romans 8:28-29. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  I am confident that you can think of many more things to praise God for what He has done for us.

In my mind, thanking God for what He has done for us is one way to praise Him. I hope you don’t forget to thank Him for His blessings.  Consider the story told in Luke 17:11-19 “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’  So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’  And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.’”  We should be like the one who returned and with a loud voice glorified God, giving Him thanks.  We can thank God for the gift of His son.  2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” We can thank God for all of our material blessings to include housing, transportation, clothes and luxuries.  We can thank God for the food that we are given to eat.  We can thank God for the forgiveness of our sins and for the gift of eternal life.  We can thank God for loving brothers and sisters in Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Again, I am confident that you can think of many things to thank God for what He has done for you.

How should we praise and thank God?  We can certainly include praise and thanks in our prayers that we send to Him; I believe that a goodly percentage of our prayers should be praise and thanksgiving.  The songs that we sing should include songs of praise and thanksgiving.  A hymn is a song of praise.  Ephesians 5:19-20 “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We can also include praise and thanks to God in the words that we speak to others.

There is so much that can be said about praising and thanking God.  There are many examples in the Bible of praise and thanksgiving, especially in the Psalms.  My encouragement to you is that your life be filled with praise and thanksgiving in your worship of God the Father.