By Brooke Holt
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.’” – Psalm 66:1-4
What do you think of when you hear the word thanksgiving? Is it the scrumptious feast you enjoy while gathering with family each November or is thanksgiving a daily part of your prayers? God’s Word teaches us to live lives of thanksgiving, especially throughout the psalms. Psalm 66 is characterized as a thanksgiving psalm as it leads God’s people to recognize his glorious work in creation, on behalf of his people, and then give thanks and praise to God.
This call to thanksgiving is not meant to be dull. If you think of a boring church service, you have it all wrong! The psalmist calls you to shout for joy, to marvel at God, and to give him glorious praise. This kind of worship is more like the most exciting football game ever. The joy and energy are to lift you off your bottoms and onto your feet, then keep you there. Why? Because God’s work is greater than the greatest quarterback and receiver duo. His glory far outshines the most brilliant person. His work on your behalf surpasses what any doctor could ever do for you. There is none like our God. No other sits in heaven or intervenes on the earth as God does.
There is neither nothing nor anyone else in creation that draws the earth to worship. God alone is worthy of such adoration. When the Pharisees opposed the heralding of Jesus in his triumphal entry, Jesus responded: “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40). If the creation recognizes Jesus as Savior and Lord and the sovereign and good work of our Lord, then why are we so slow to praise?
Those who refuse to worship God in this life will eventually recognize his sovereignty and glory. Paul makes this point abundantly clear in his letter to the Romans: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (14:11). Every person shall worship the Lord! It is a matter of whether they will choose to worship him here on earth or when Jesus comes again. Worship here will be chosen; worship at his return will be mandatory.
Wouldn’t you rather appreciate and enjoy God’s goodness, his majesty, his handiwork throughout your earthly life then get to the end and realize all you have missed? God truly is much more exciting than the best football game, movie, or trip you could ever take. In fact, his glory underlies every amazing experience you have in this world.
Take time today to recognize God’s glory and work then shout for joy, sing glory to his name, and give him glorious praise for all he has done! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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