Many of us have exclaimed “Thank You, Lord!” following a close call on the highway or after being hired for the job we wanted. But Scripture teaches more about giving our thanks to God.
For example, Psalm 92:1 says, “It is good . . . to sing praises to Your name, O Most High." When we lift our praises to God, we should realize the importance of using His name. There is nothing wrong with addressing Him as “God,” but we miss the richness and depth of who He is if we don't pay attention to the significance of His many names in Scripture. Start with "Jehovah" ("the everlasting," "the self-existing one") and "Elohim" ("absolute in faithfulness," "infinite in power"), and praise Him for what these names indicate. Then, add more of His scriptural names to your devotional times.
When we come together to worship, we should be singing to almighty God with full attention.
Another way we show God appreciation is by singing His praises. I believe God gave us music primarily so we could offer thanks and praise in a form other than the spoken word. Unfortunately, it's far too easy to sing the words of a hymn while our thoughts are somewhere else. When we come together to worship, we should be singing to almighty God with full attention. No believer should be able to stand on Sunday morning and sing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,” with a deadpan expression. We're singing to holy God. How can we act apathetic to the One who paid our sin-debt and gave us eternal life?
You might be thinking, But I can’t even sing. Yes, you can. When you lift your voice to God, you need never worry about anyone’s opinion of your musical abilities. You're not performing when you worship the Lord with song. You're expressing gratitude and adoration to your heavenly Father. He's pleased by your praise, and His is the only opinion that counts. Remember, it's God who told us to sing praises to His name.
Another way we're to express gratitude toward God is by walking upright before Him. The Bible repeatedly tells us we're to be holy because the Lord is holy (Lev. 11:44, Lev. 19:2, Lev. 20:7) You may think that's impossible for us to do. But remember, Satan is a deceiver (John 8:44), and he tries to delude believers with this thought: God may have said that, but He knows it's impossible. He didn't really mean it literally. Do you think God is in the habit of saying things He doesn't mean? God is truth, and it's impossible for Him to lie (John 1:14, John 14:6).
On our own, we would be incapable of holiness. But at the moment of salvation, God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us and to live the holy life of Christ through us (Gal. 2:20) Therefore, acting saintly is not an action but an attitude of the heart. We have the final choice as to who takes charge of our actions—the “flesh” or the Holy Spirit. Whenever we allow ourselves to be controlled by the Spirit, we fulfill God’s requirement of holiness, which means being set apart for sanctified living.
Our Father never gets tired of blessing us—or hearing our praise.
One other way we should thank God is by giving generously and cheerfully (Matt. 10:8, 2 Corinthians 9:7) If we're truly grateful, we'll want to share what we have. On the other hand, if we're self-centered, we'll want to keep as much as possible for ourselves. Of course, we cannot mail anything to God, so the only way we can actually give to Him is by being generous to each other and to the work of His kingdom.
We tend to be great askers and great receivers; we enthusiastically repeat verses that encourage us to make requests of God (Matt. 7:7-11, Matt. 21:22); we memorize passages assuring us He'll supply all of our needs and “freely give us all things” (Phil. 4:19, Rom. 8:32). Shouldn’t we also learn to be excited when thanking our loving, sovereign Lord who redeems us, forgives us, provides eternal life, and every single day pours blessings upon us? Let's not be guilty of what may be the greatest sin of all: indifference and ingratitude toward almighty God.
Our Father never gets tired of blessing us—or hearing our praise. Let your thanks to Him overflow!