“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
What binds us, as Christians, together? Primarily the binding glue that sticks Christians one to another is our common membership in the same body, that is, the body of Christ. As we exist as members of the same being, who is God the Son, we “put on love, which binds [our other virtues] together in perfect unity.” We “allow the peace of Christ to rule in [our] hearts.” We allow “the message of Christ to dwell among [us].” In His unity and in His peace and in His message, we find our gratitude to God.
Ultimately, the answer to our present difficulties, whatever they may be, is our gratitude to God. As we teach one another “with all wisdom,” the most effective admonishments are those that sing to God with thanksgiving.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To the One who remembers us in our low estate His love endures forever. And frees us from our enemies, His love endures forever. And gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136: 1,3,23-26; NIV)
Let us be thankful.
David ordains an offering of thanks to the Lord, saying: “Give the Lord thanks and invoke Him by Name, make His deeds known in the world around.”
We are to “remember the wonders He has wrought.” (1 Chronicles 16: 12) We are to “think upon all his wonders.” (1 Chronicles 16: 9) Memory of and meditation on the wonders of God are prerequisites to full thanksgiving, says David. With thanksgiving, honour God “with song and psalm” and “dance in His honour.” (1 Chronicles 16: 9; 30)
“Turn to the Lord, your strength, seek His presence always.” (1 Chronicles 16: 11) “Bow down to the Lord in the splendour of holiness.” (1 Chronicles 16: 29) “Ascribe to the Lord glory and might; ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His Name, bring a gift and come before Him.” (1 Chronicles 16: 28-29)
“And all the people say ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the Lord.'” (1 Chronicles 16: 36)
“Rejoice always,” writes Paul. “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
How? By realizing that your circumstances are arranged by God’s will. And, if you are uncomfortable with those circumstances, “pray without ceasing.” Yet, simultaneously, “rejoice.” Be thankful to God for everything.
For, God is perfect. His will for your life is perfect.
Even more wonderful, God knows your needs before you do. He anticipates your failures, your sins, your hurts. He makes the path ahead, every smooth portion, each bump along the way is known by Him.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5: 6 – 7)
Thanksgiving approaches, but every day is a day of giving thanks. “The Lord, He is God!” God made us; we belong to Him. “We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” (Psalm 100: 3)
Being His sheep, we are to “enter His gates with thanksgiving.” Inside His pasture, we are safe under the watchful eye of the Great Shepherd. At His feet, we are to praise Him, thank Him, bless His Name.
“For the Lord is good.” His Love is steadfast; He is faithful forever. “For You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon You.” (Psalm 86: 5) Like sheep, let us rely solely on Him.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34: 1) “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!” (Psalm 34: 3)