Living God's HeartLiving Gods Heart

1It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to the Most High.
2It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening.
Psalm 92:1-2 (NLT)

Your assignment during this focus on thanksgiving has been to memorize these two verses. How’s it going? I have them down, and I attribute it to quoting them first thing most mornings and last thing most evenings…and then any time throughout the day when I am tempted to complain about things.

What I’ve become convinced of is that giving thanks is a strong aggressive and preemptive play against the enemy. He wants to neutralize our witness for Christ. Giving thanks and proclaiming God’s unfailing love in the morning and His faithfulness in the evening puts us in the position of standing against satan before, during and after any and all attempts he makes to derail us. Here’s how:

Morning thanksgiving sets the stage for the day – and it establishes that we’re playing on God’s stage, not satan’s stage. It says “OK, satan – this is the field we’re playing on today.” It starts the game each morning with the home field advantage.

What’s the impact of starting every day by proclaiming boldly and declaring with enthusiasm that God’s love is unfailing; that His loving kindness is constant and that His mercies are new every morning? How will the first hour of my morning be different if I proclaim God’s unfailing love while I get ready for work instead of going over my to do list for the day or a taking stock of my aches and pains or rehashing the argument I had with someone the day before? It will be night and day different! These actions allow us to take control of our thoughts first thing in the day, setting the pattern for the rest of the day.

It also puts on my shield of faith. As I remind myself of God’s unfailing love my faith rises to meet the day’s challenges. It puts me more in the mindset of being on the offensive instead of playing defense.

Continuing to give thanks throughout the day puts me in a position of obedience because it is impossible to be actively praising God and actively complaining at the same time. “Stop complaining” Jesus told the crowds in John 6. The Apostle Paul wrote telling us to “Do everything without complaining or arguing” in Philippians 2:14. As I wrote in this blog – let’s be counter-culture and stop the complaining and grumbling.

Not only does being an aggressive giver of thanks put me in a position of obedience throughout the day, it repeatedly changes my focus from this world to the Kingdom of heaven; from bricks and mortar to gold and glory; from sinful, fallen attitudes and behaviors to righteousness and holiness and loving kindness. That’s being on offense.

And becoming more obedient in my thanksgiving and changing my focus to the Kingdom of God, has another huge impact – it repeatedly puts me in the presence of God. Psalm 100 says:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 100:4 (NLT)

Thanksgiving and praise bring us into the presence of God. And that’s where my victory comes from; that’s where my joy in life’s challenges is found.

Not only are we to proclaim God’s unfailing love in the morning, we’re to proclaim His faithfulness in the evening. “Lord, You are a faithful God and I thank you for it.” How different will our sleep be when the last thing we do is remember – declare and give thanks for – God’s faithfulness?

I love the bookending of praising God morning and night: “It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.”  To me the psalmist is saying “Sandy, frame your life within the structure or boundaries of thanksgiving and praise. Morning and night, remember God’s goodness and thank Him for it.”

I’m working on my frame, how about you?

Lagniappe (a term used in southern Louisiana and southeast Texas, it means “a little something extra”)

Here’s a kind of cool thing about the word  translated “good” In this passage,  – “It is good to give thanks…” and “It is good to proclaim…”: It’s the same word that is used in Genesis when God declared that what He had made was “good!” God created the light and saw that the light was good. He caused the waters to be collected and the dry ground to appear creating the land and the seas and He saw that it was good. He created all the plants and animals and He saw that they were good. He created the sun, the moon and stars and saw that they were good. All of God’s creation was declared to be “good.”

And in the psalms, David writes that our thanksgiving and praise is likewise, “good.”

I think that’s pretty cool!

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