Thankfulness gives God a legitimate reason to display His power.

God responds to thankfulness because giving thanks is in line with what God seeks. The Psalms we will study today are imprecatory psalms and laments which show a mix of confidence and concern. They reflect a desire of the righteous for God to destroy His enemies and to vindicate His name. God still pursues these goals, but He does so differently in the church era. The paradox of a thankful heart in the midst of life difficulties is what pleases God no matter what time we live in.

Psalm 140:12-13

Thankfulness gives God a reason to display His justice. David reassures God that the righteous will give thanks. Praising His name is equal to praising Him for His character. A heart dominated by thanksgiving is evidence of being born again. A person cannot worship without receiving salvation and being given a heart of thanksgiving. It is a miracle to see those who formerly hated God's authority be made thankful for it.

Psalm 142:7

Thankfulness gives God a reason to show His deliverance. David prayed for God to save him "so that I may give thanks to Your name." He needed a track record of thanksgiving in order to make this argument, and he did. The righteous love to be around thankful people.

Psalm 145:8-13

Thankfulness gives God a reason to demonstrate His power on the earth. David calls God by His covenant name with the people of Israel: Jehovah, the God who keeps His promises. These verses are ultimately a prayer for God to set up His kingdom on the earth, because when He does, more people will give King Jesus the authentic praise He deserves.

The New Testament echoes these three psalms. Philippians 4:6-7 says that even in anxious, emotion-producing circumstances, we can and must give thanks. God is still on His throne. He is coming again. His character has not changed. Our task is to trust Him and be thankful!

Application Points

  • Is your heart dominated by thanksgiving? Are you thankful for God's authority? This is an evidence of having a transformed heart!
  • Are you known as a thankful person? Thankfulness will attract godly people. Do the righteous love to be around you?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Luke 17:11-19 – The one thankful leper.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.