Posted by: Jo | March 8, 2013

Giving Thanks

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4)

imageSeveral years ago my husband and I spent a holiday with our daughter and her two little girls, who were then about four and six, at a seaside cabin. We always said grace before meals, but we were anxious for them to learn to speak to our Lord in their own way, so every morning after we had said grace we started a little tradition. Everybody at the table would take a turn to thank God for something in their lives. Their response to this was so sweet I think the Lord himself smiled. At first the prayers were very simple ranging from; thank you for my new bathing suit to thank you for my Teddy Bear, but as they had to choose a different reason to thank God every morning, soon their prayers became sentences in which they were conversing with God as if he were their friend. At the end of the holiday we were delighted to hear the six year old exclaim at our last breakfast, “I like doing this.”

The Psalmists knew the importance of giving thanks to our Lord. Over and over again we read of the importance to stop and give thanks to the Lord;

In Psalm 30, David realises that it is through the Lord that “his wailing has turned to dancing”

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me in joy that my heart may sing to you and not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:11 – 12)

Often when we go through some ugly experience and come out the other side, we forget who was going through it with us. We often put our success at dealing with a situation down to our own prowess or a lucky imagecoincidence. Earlier on in Psalm 30, David had called to the Lord for help; “To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy.” Psalm 30:8 – David acknowledges who really helped him by his fervent thanks to the Lord.

Giving thanks when everything is going well or if you have a new bathing suit or a Teddy Bear you love, is easy; it is in those hard times when everything seems bleak that uttering those thanks becomes more difficult. When Paul was writing to the Thessalonians he entreated them to remember to give thanks whatever was happening in their lives.

“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18)

Many years ago I clipped out of a church bulletin a beautiful little message about giving thanks. I pasted it in the inside of my Bible so I would read it often.


When her daughter ran away from home,

She gave thanks for the friend who came to help her with the search.

When his son was killed.

He gave thanks for gentle memories and the friend who cried with him.

When their house burnt to the ground,

They gave thanks for the thoughtfulness of friends and strangers.

Dear God, when the marriage ends, the illness disables, the bombs fall, the racists write words on my wall, may I think of you as my friend, holding my hand and passing me encouragement with your handkerchief.

Let me turn away from bitterness, and embrace love and hope.

Remind me that your arms are there for me. For me!

Thank you.

imageWhen we remember to give thanks for his presence in our lives in whatever situation we are in, we will be like David our wailing will be turned to dancing and we will be clothed with joy.


  1. Thank you Lord for good old friends.


  2. I love to give thanks to the lord. It makes me feel closer to him . Just like I thank people around me for their thoughtfulness and kindness,I want to make sure The Lord knows how much I love and appreciate every thing he does for me . Thank you Lord for bringing Jo into my life!


  3. Jo- good story and good thoughts about it. It is too easy to quickly “move on to the next thing” in life and not take time to thank God for being with us – thanks for the reminder.


  4. Thank you Jo as God’s reminder.


  5. Thank you for sharing this Jo, I look forward to receiving your blog and inspirational words – good work


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