In Everything Give Thanks
In Everything Give Thanks
—Praise God because He is powerful.
"Now these [are] thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand." Nehemiah 1:10.
"[Touching] the Almighty, we cannot find him out: [he is] excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict." Job 37:23.
— Praise God because of His righteousness.
"Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains; thy judgments
[are] a great deep: O Lord,
thou preservest man and beast." Psalm 36:6.
"The Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth." Daniel 9:14.
— Praise God because He is able.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Ephesians 3:20.
"And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work." 11 Corinthians 9:8.
— Praise God because He is infinite.
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen." Romans 11:33–36.
— Praise God because of His strength.
"God [is] my strength [and] power: and he maketh my way perfect." 11 Samuel 22:33.
"The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, [wherewith] he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved." Psalm 93:1.
— Praise God because He is everlasting.
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding." Isaiah 40:28.
". . . and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.
Giving praise to the Lord is one of the best ways to express our thanks to God for His blessings, and yet how many of us do it on a regular basis? Yes, we normally go through our routine of thanking God for our food before we eat; sometimes we even thank Him for the clothes we wear and praise Him for the sunshine. Around the Thanksgiving holiday we may even list out our blessings and reflect on what God has done, but do we really "offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually"? Hebrews 13:15.
Continual does not mean just once a year or even once a day for that matter. It implies that it is repeated without interruption. David said, in Psalm 34:1, ". . . his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth." He also said, "At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:62. When is the last time we found ourselves up at midnight thanking the Lord? Later on in that same psalm David says, "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." (Verse 164.) Do we stop seven times a day to praise God? Do we even stop once or twice to praise Him?
"Prayer is a duty and a necessity; but do we not neglect praise? Should we not oftener render thanksgiving to the Giver of all our blessings? We need to cultivate gratitude. We should frequently contemplate and recount the mercies of God, and laud and glorify His holy name, even when we are passing through sorrow and affliction. . . ." Selected Messages, Book 2, 268.
"We need to praise God much more than we do. We are to show that we have cause for rejoicing. ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light’ (1 Peter 2:9). Are we doing this as fully as we should?" In Heavenly Places, 96.
"We need to praise God more ‘for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.’ Psalm 107:8. Our devotional exercises should not consist wholly in asking and receiving. Let us not be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive. We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. We are the constant recipients of God’s mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us." Steps to Christ, 102.
Now that we know that we need to praise God, and praise Him continually, how do we do it? If you think that all praising God involves is whispering a prayer of thanks to Him in your closet,—think again! Praising God is an active thing! In other words, if you receive a blessing—tell someone about it!
Praise through Words
"The prophet, in words of glowing fervor, magnifies God in His created works: ‘When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?’ ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!’ ‘I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy marvelous works.’ [Psalm 8:3, 9; 9:1.]" Testimonies, vol. 3, 377.
"My soul is filled with praise and thanksgiving to God from whom come all our mercies and blessings. The Lord is good, and His mercies endure forever. I will praise Him who is the light of my countenance and my God. He is the source of all efficiency and power. Why do we not praise Him by speaking words of hope and comfort to others? Why are our lips so silent? Speech is a gift of Heaven, and it should be used in sounding forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. . . ." That I May Know Him, 219.
"If we enjoy the love of God in our hearts, we will have something to say. From the treasure of our heart we will bring forth good things. We will render to God the fruit of our lips. Our words will be words of praise and thanksgiving.—Manuscript 74, 1897." The Voice in Speech and Song, 149.
"The words to which God and the angels listen with delight are words of appreciation for the great gift that has been made to the world in the only-begotten Son of God. Every word of praise for the blessing of the light of truth . . . is written in the heavenly records. Every word that acknowledges the merciful kindness of our heavenly Father in giving Jesus to take away our sins, and to impute to us His righteousness, is recorded in the book of His remembrance." Our High Calling, 168.
"When the blessed light of the Sun of Righteousness shines into our hearts, and we rest in peace and joy in the Lord, then let us praise the Lord; praise Him who is the health of our countenance and our God. Let us praise Him, not in words only, but by the consecration to Him of all that we are and all that we have." Testimonies, vol. 6, 479.
Praise through Music
Under the rulership of King David, Israel had joyfully united in chanting hymns of praise to the Most High, in recognition of their entire dependence on Him for daily mercies. Their words of adoration are recorded in Psalm 65. Note verse 13: " . . . they shout for joy, they also sing." (See Prophets and Kings, 133, 134.)
The psalmist repeatedly encourages us to sing our praise to God. "All the inhabitants of heaven unite in praising God. Let us learn the song of the angels now, that we may sing it when we join their shining ranks. Let us say with the psalmist, ‘While I live, will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being’ (Psalm 146:2). ‘Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee’ (Psalm 67:5)." God’s Amazing Grace, 352.
"As you meet from Sabbath to Sabbath, you need no expensive organ in order to sing praises to Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Let the heart’s adoration be given ‘Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ [Revelation 1:5.]" General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 28, 1893.
"Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings." Psalm 33:2. "Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King." Psalm 98:5, 6. "Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 150:3–6.
"Music should have beauty, pathos, and power. Let the voices be lifted in songs of praise and devotion. Call to your aid, if practicable, instrumental music, and let the glorious harmony ascend to God, an acceptable offering." Evangelism, 505.
"Musical instruments were used in religious services in ancient times. The worshipers praise God upon the harp and cymbal, and music should have its place in our services. It will add to the interest. And . . . a praise meeting should be held, a simple service of thanksgiving to God." Testimonies, vol. 6, 62.
Praise through Prayer
"Prayer means very much, and we should come to God offering up thanksgiving before him. ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. . . . O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.’ [Psalm 95:2, 3, 6–8.]" Signs of the Times, September 10, 1894.
"David declares, ‘I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live’ (Psalm 116:1, 2). God’s goodness in hearing and answering prayer places us under heavy obligation to express our thanksgiving for the favors bestowed upon us. We should praise God much more than we do. The blessings received in answer to prayer should be promptly acknowledged. . . ." God’s Amazing Grace, 325.
"There must be a living connection with God in prayer, a living connection with God in songs of praise and thanksgiving.—Letter 96, 1898." Evangelism, 498.
Praise through Testimony
"O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people." Psalm 105:1.
"In our devotional social meetings, our voices should express by prayer and praise our adoration of our heavenly Father, that all may know that we worship God in simplicity and truth, and in the beauty of holiness. Precious indeed in this world of sin and ignorance is the gift of speech, is the melody of the human voice, when devoted to the praises of Him who hath loved us, and hath given himself for us." Christian Education, 131.
"To praise God in fulness and sincerity of heart is as much a duty as is prayer. We are to show to the world and to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity, and that we are expecting larger and yet larger blessings from His infinite fulness. . . . After a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit, our joy in the Lord and our efficiency in His service would be greatly increased by recounting His goodness and His wonderful works in behalf of His children. These exercises drive back the power of Satan. They expel the spirit of murmuring and complaint, and the tempter loses ground. They cultivate those attributes of character which will fit the dwellers on earth for the heavenly mansions. Such a testimony will have an influence upon others. No more effective means can be employed for winning souls to Christ." Christ’s Object Lessons, 299, 300.
"The one appointed to conduct Sabbath services should . . . not always give so long a discourse that there will be no opportunity for those present to confess Christ. The sermon should frequently be short, so that the people may express their thanksgiving to God. Gratitude-offerings glorify the name of the Lord. In every assembly of the saints holy angels listen to the praise offered to Jehovah in testimony, song, and prayer." Gospel Workers, 171.
Praise through Giving
"Those who fear Him [God] speak words of courage, of thankfulness, and of praise. . . . Such words make all heaven rejoice. Those who utter them may be poor in worldly possessions, but by faithfully giving to God the portion He claims, they acknowledge their indebtedness to Him. Self-serving does not make up the chapters of their life history. In love and gratitude, with songs of joy upon their lips, they bring their offerings to God, saying as did David, ‘Of Thine own we freely
give Thee.’" Review and Herald, January 5, 1897.
"Nothing has been withheld from us that God could give. So ample was the gift poured out to man, that there was nothing more which God could bestow. He is our best friend, our benefactor. Shall we not give evidence of our gratitude to him, not only by thanksgiving and praise, but by offerings to extend to others the knowledge of his great gift?" Ibid., December 2, 1890.
"The wise men have left us an example of what we should do. Jesus should be the object of our adoration, the recipient of our gifts. It is not man, but our Redeemer, that should be honored. To Him we should offer our praise and gifts and treasures; but instead of this, the world sets its treasures flowing in the channel of self-gratification, and to the honor of men. . . . few think of what they can do to show their love and gratitude to God for his great love and compassion upon them." The Bible Echo, December 15, 1892.
"How many through selfish plans, rob God of the praise and the thanksgiving due to his holy name, because they would hold the goods lent them in trust, and fail to relieve the necessities of their brethren who are in poverty and distress." Review and Herald, January 15, 1895.
Praise through Example
"Those who are partakers of Christ’s meekness, purity, and love, will be joyful in God, and will shed light and gladness upon all around them. The thought that Christ died to obtain for us the gift of everlasting life, is enough to call forth from our hearts the most sincere and fervent gratitude, and from our lips the most enthusiastic praise. God’s promises are rich, and full, and free. Whoever will, in the strength of Christ, comply with the conditions, may claim these promises, with all their wealth of blessing, as his own. And being thus abundantly supplied from the treasure-house of God, he may, in the journey of life, ‘walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing;’ [Colossians 1:10] by a godly example blessing his fellow-men, and honoring his Creator." Ibid., September 20, 1881.
"The hour of prayer should not be neglected for any consideration. . . . At an early hour of the evening, when you can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, present your supplication, and raise your voices in happy, grateful praise. Let all who visit Christians see that the hour of prayer is the most sacred, the most precious, and the happiest hour of the day. Such an example will not be without effect." Reflecting Christ, 183.
"What an example have the martyrs for Jesus left us in their lives of self-denial and sacrifice. . . . Those who were too timid to praise God vocally were not too timid to die for their Lord." Review and Herald, December 2, 1875.
"‘Ye are my witnesses,’ says God, and God wants us by precept and example to represent Christ in our world. . . . You are to begin to work with the talent which God has lent you, and then [use] every gift there is to the praise of heaven." Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 260.
Know Who God is
If we are going to develop a lifestyle of praise to God continually, we need to put things in perspective. We must realize who God is and who we are not. "Know ye that the Lord he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture." Psalm 100:3, 4. We need to recognize that all of the things we receive as blessings come from Him.
"I will call upon the Lord, [who is worthy] to be praised . . . ." Psalm 18:3. "God saves man through the blood of Christ alone, and man’s belief in, and allegiance to, Christ is salvation. It is no marvel to angels that the infinite sacrifice made by the Son of God was ample enough to bring salvation to a fallen race, but that this atoning sacrifice should have been made is a wonder to the universe. It is a mystery which angels desire to look into. The angels are amazed at the indifference and coldness manifested by those for whom so great a salvation has been provided. They look with grief and holy indignation upon those who do not seek to appreciate the unspeakable gift of God. Instead of offering adoration to God, finite men think themselves capable, without divine unction, of determining what is worthy of praise or blame in their fellow-men. But to be glorified by man is no glory. We should learn to value the praise of man at what it is worth. The Lord says, ‘Them that honor me I will honor.’ [1 Samuel 2:30.] Let every breath of praise, every word of exaltation, flow to him who is worthy, flow to Jesus, the Prince of life, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Elevate the cross of Christ. Elevate the Mediator. Lift up Jesus. In him is everything noble. Contemplate God in Christ. He is surrounded with angels, cherubim and seraphim continually behold him. Angelic voices day and night cry before him: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. . . . Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’ ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.’ ‘Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee.’ [Revelation 4:8, 11; 5:12; 15:3, 4.]" Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889.
Giving praise to God helps us to understand just how awesome He really is! We should praise Him for how powerful He is. We should praise Him for how giving He is. We should praise Him for how loving He is. We should thank Him for all that He has done, is doing, and will do for us as His children.
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
November 2002 Table of Contents