Thanksgiving and Praise

Thanksgiving and Praise

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).

I knock on the front door of a good friend.  She is expecting me.  In just a moment, she flings the door open, smiling ear to ear, gives me a big hug, and ushers me into the sweet presence of her home.  It is so good to see her.  I am comfortable, relaxed, and very much at home.  Being here is a precious relief from the heat of the day.

Instead of exchanging pleasantries and basking in our friendship, however, I proceed to bombard her with the difficulties of my life in flamboyant detail.  The atmosphere suddenly becomes clouded and sad.  I ask you: How do you think that makes her feel?

I think we often treat our very best friend, who happens to be our Savior and Lord, the same way.  We begin the conversation loudly with, “Dear God, please help me!  I need you to do this for me and fix that problem and take care of this situation and meet this need and do something about that person!  Where are you, God?  When are you going to do something?”  And we continue down our ever-growing shopping list of things we think we need from God with never a greeting or thank you or I praise you for who you are.  “In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

How do you think that makes Jesus feel?  Used and unappreciated?  Taken for granted?  Maybe.  One thing is certain: He is always worthy of our thanksgiving and praise.  Psalm 100:4 tells us how we should enter His presence.  Let’s get in the habit of worshiping Him and thanking Him for who He is and all that He has done before we ask Him for anything.  He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  He is worthy of our adoration and love at all times.

One day when I step into heaven, this verse will be completely and literally fulfilled.  I will enter those gleaming gates with thanksgiving and His breathtaking courts with praise.  I will give Him thanks and praise His holy name, for I will be forever home.  And no more shopping list!