God is worthy to be praised for Who He is, what He has already done for us, and what we are trusting Him to do for us in Christ. Every good thing that we have in our lives past, present and future is a gift of His grace. Even the things we think we worked hard to gain for ourselves are made possible by Him, for every ability and opportunity are given to us from Him. Therefore, let us celebrate Him before others and commend Him to others for all that He does for us, and that He delights to do so. Today… Honor Him for His blessings. Honor Him by enjoying His blessings as He intends. Honor Him for being a Blesser.
The ultimate goal of our lives is for God to be honored in us and us to be happy in Him. There isn’t anything higher to aspire to than the duality of God’s honor and our happiness. When we thank Him, trust Him, and treasure Him, these two things are achieved. Thanking Him means our hearts are glad because of something He gets glory for doing. Trusting Him means we delight to do what God has decided because we believe that He is good. Treasuring Him means we find enjoyment in His companionship because He is infinitely worth knowing. To seek His honor is to seek our happiness.
Who He is deserves it. What He does deserves it. Our great God accomplishes great things and is worthy of our heartfelt praise. Let us stand still, stand back and stand in awe of the One Who is perfect in every act, every decision, every purpose, every trait and every way. He creates from nothing. He rules over everything. He can do anything. And all that He is, says and does is good. We cannot improve upon a single thing in the universe that bears His handiwork or bears His likeness. Today, let us worship Him with glad and grateful and glory-giving hearts, remembering this: It is always appropriate to applaud God.
Every single day you and I should do whatever it takes to be happier in Jesus. That’s how we win against temptation, frustration and dissatisfaction in this life. The attempts we make to improve ourselves, improve our circumstances, and improve our lives should not simply be about trying to take away things we dislike and add in things we do like. Instead, our goal should be to know and enjoy Jesus more and more and more. We grow in our inner peace, rest, security, confidence, hope and joy not because over and over we figure out a way to make things better, but because over and over we find our way to Jesus.
We go to great measures to gain treasures in this world. But trophies, trips, triumphs, titles, toys, things and time spent on earthly pursuits and pleasures with no regard for eternity will undo us in the end. It’s not that these things are inherently wrong, evil or unprofitable; it’s that we often ignore God to pursue them and value them more than we do Him. God has given us all things richly to enjoy, but the point of that enjoyment is to point us to Jesus. To gain all that the world has to offer yet not have Jesus is to have nothing at all. To gain all that Jesus has to offer yet not have the world is to have everything.
You can look all around and conclude that God is absent or that He is present. May He give us spiritual eyes that see… Not just the beauty of a sunset, but the God who paints the sky. Not just the miracle of a baby’s birth, but the God who brings things to life. Not just the taste of a great meal, but the God who invented flavors. Not just the satisfaction of achieving a goal, but the God who empowers us to do so. Not just a lovely wedding, but the God who created marriage. Not just a great day, but the God who offers us eternal life. Shining through every good and right and true thing we see is an ever-present God.
It is right to enjoy the good gifts of God in the way that He designed them to be enjoyed because that’s why He gives them to us. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of the created world are supposed to be enjoyed because God made them to send and made us to receive … pleasure. But rather than enjoying them too little (ingratitude) or too much (idolatry), let us enjoy them as they were intended, as a catalyst for treasuring the Gift-Giver far beyond what He might give to us. The gifts that God sends us are wonderful; but they are nowhere near as wonderful as Him. He is the real gift!
Christians should talk more about what God does than about what we do. Even when we speak of what we do, it should be as a platform to talk about the enabling power, provision and presence of God in our lives. We don’t have it all together. We won’t get it all together. We can’t keep it all together. None of us wear capes as if we are super Christians; we wear the righteousness of Jesus. None of us have magical powers that enable us to do things; we have the power of the Holy Spirit. None of us belong on the throne of worship; we belong to a Heavenly Father Who does. Not to us, but to God be the glory!
God is greater. A chef prepares delicious and nutritious foods, but God made flavors and taste buds and ingredients and nutrients. An engineer builds strong and magnificent structures, but God created angles and dimensions and textures and materials. An artist paints beautiful canvases, but God invented shapes and colors and strokes and imaginations. We do whatever we do only because God does what He does. The talents to use the things we see, hear, smell, taste and touch in this world all come from God. He invents and inspires every good thing that we use, arrange, perform, create or do. God is greater.
The sweetest of all thankfulness isn’t superficial; it goes deep. It goes past feeling happy that certain things are in our lives. It goes past naming those things so it is known that we appreciate them. It goes past even tracing their origin back to God and thanking the Giver for all of our blessings. There is a delightful, wonderful, beautiful experience when our gratitude is not merely directed toward God for His gifts, but toward God for Himself. We give thanks that among many things, He is a holy, loving, kind and gracious Father. The way to be best thankful for all that God has given us is to be most thankful for Him.
We can be grateful for many things, and we should be. We can be grateful to many people, and we should be. We can be grateful on many occasions, and we should be. But there is One who makes every good thing, every good person and every good occasion in our lives possible by His amazing grace. God sent Jesus to be perfect for us because we aren’t, absorb wrath for sin so we don’t, and secure the blessings for us that we can’t. Jesus paid our sin penalty and paid for our special privileges so that we might be forgiven, freed and favored. Today and every day, let us offer thanks for His giving.