Be Refreshed – Day 1
by Andy Frost
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (vs4-5).
There are these moments when something very deep within me wants to shout “Thank you!”
There was that magical moment when I clumsily held my daughter for the first time; holding this delicate, intricate human being against my chest and marvelling at the beauty of new life. There are those mornings, when I’m barely awake, when my four year old clambers into bed, tries to get her arms around me and whispers, “I love you Daddy.” There are those moments of pure joy as I spend time laughing with my six-year-old, as we finish our walk in the great outdoors as the sun sets with a flurry of colour.
It’s in these moments that I’m glad I’m not an atheist. I have someone to thank.
But the truth is, I can spend a lot more of my time asking God for things rather than thanking him for what he has already blessed me with. Psalm 100 is a helpful reminder to give “grateful praise.”
How do we give thanks?
We can give thanks with shouts of joy and song – and it doesn’t have to sound beautiful! The essence of the Hebrew word used for shout for joy is like a victorious battle cry.
We can give thanks by serving God, not with a begrudging attitude but with one of thanksgiving. Part of our worship is how we parent, how we partner with him in caring for our children.
We can give thanks by knowing God. He wants to be known and we express our thanks to him by choosing to go deeper in our relationship with him.
We can give thanks together. Our faith is expressed in community – in our family and in the wider Church.
Why do we give thanks?
To be honest, there are days when we might not feel thankful at all. We are exhausted, the kids are grumpy, it’s raining outside and pay day is still a week away.
Our circumstances are not always easy, but the psalmist reminds us that ultimately we give thanks because of who God is. Every breath we have to praise him is in fact a gift from him. God is for us. We are his people. He does not disown us but identifies with us. God cares for us. God is good and faithful.
So, no matter what your circumstances are today, how can you give thanks?
What can you give thanks to God for today in terms of your children?
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