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Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

You are walking into a building and someone holds the door open. You say, “Thank you.” A cashier counts back your change after you have made a purchase. You respond, “Thank you.” You put your blinker on and another driver slows down so you can change lanes. You wave, “Thank you.” Why do we use this phrase, thank you? Why do we express thanks to other people for seemingly common things? It is customary. It is polite. We are Christians, so at the very least – when Christ says, “everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV), we had better express basic good manners.

What about the way we respond to the goodness of God? Do we issue a customary, “Thanks God,” when He answers a prayer in our favor? When we encounter a close call that would have been disastrous, but our safety is spared, do we mouth the words, “Thank God,” under our breath? How often do we recognize the importance and need to give thanks to God?

The psalmist instructs us to, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1 NIV). The acknowledgement of the truth expressed here is not an arbitrary afterthought; it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving pointing directly to the perfect nature of God. This is an affirmation in worship of His eternal goodness and love. He is good. Therefore, we thank Him. He loves us – not just in a momentary ebb and flow of skin-deep emotion – but to His core. God is love (1 John 4:8). God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27). His love never ends (Lamentations 3:22). Within the context of those truths, we give Him thanks.

What are some examples from Scripture when life was falling apart but people still expressed worship to God? In 2 Samuel 12, David’s son died as a result of David’s sin. How did he choose to respond? The text reads, “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20a NIV). The loss of a child is never a favorable outcome. However, David chose to worship in response to the situation. He was not thanking God for allowing his son to die, but he was worshiping Him for His goodness, regardless of the situation.