Duane Vander Klok
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4
As we enter into this holiday season, we often take time to remember what we are thankful for in our lives. Yet, sometimes, we pack these feelings of gratitude away with the decorations. We get into a rhythm during the new year, setting new goals, aspirations, and hope that we will have something fun and interesting to be ‘thankful’ for once again during the next Holiday season.
As believers, we are not called to be thankful during a single season or month. Instead, we are called to continually offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God (see Hebrews 13:15). This means not just on Sunday mornings, when it’s convenient, or when we ‘feel like it.’ Instead, we are called to praise and give thanks continually, on the bad days, when the giants and circumstances of our situations are right in front of us, and when we simply don’t feel like it.
Ezra holds a great example of this in the Old Testament. When he returns to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, there finally comes a day when the foundation of the Temple is laid. They lifted up a great shout that was heard a great distance away! That was a shout of thanksgiving in the midst of the rubble. The Temple was not yet built, their nation was not yet restored, and the exiles had not yet fully returned. Yet they were still thankful for all that God had done so far, and will continue to do! They were thankful for their new foundation in Him.
Anybody can shout when they already have the victory. Anyone can celebrate when the walls and the Temple has been rebuilt. Anyone can shout when the giant that once stood in front of them is laying down dead. Anyone can give thanks when they ‘feel like it.’ We are truly tested when we can be thankful every single day of our lives.
This week, let’s change the direction of our voices. Let’s give thanks for the season that we are currently in, but let’s give continual thanks for the next year, the next season, and remember to continually shout in thanksgiving to our Father in Heaven!