Read Psalm 136

Featured Verse: Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

There’s a chorus we used to sing in our church called Hallelujah, Thank You Lord.  The song has a line that says, “Who could ever list your miracles?  Who could praise you half enough?” 

That’s so true!  How can any of us narrow down all the many reasons we have for thanksgiving to just a few words? Yet whenever I begin to count the many blessings in my life—like family and friends and the fellowship of the church, prosperity and provision, health and wholeness, and so many other wonderful blessings that come in the form of people, things and experiences—I always come down to  this bottom line reason for my gratitude:

God’s grace and mercy in my life! 

That’s really the reason I’m most thankful.

In Lamentations 3:22, the prophet Jeremiah summed up this whole idea of grace and mercy in one of my favorite verses, where he wrote these words:

Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.

Think about it:  If it weren’t for the great love of the Lord, none of us would be able to sit at the Thanksgiving table with our loved ones to recount our reasons for gratitude.  That’s God’s mercy.  In his rich and unending mercy, God didn’t give us what we really deserve: judgment and complete separation from his presence.

So on the one hand, I’m sure thankful for what I don’t have, what I didn’t get, what I do really deserve: God’s wrath poured out on me.

On the other hand, I’m thankful for what I did get—and what I got is what I really didn’t deserve: God’s favor in the form of his love, his friendship, his protection and his provision both for this life and for the next.

Unlimited mercy and undeserved grace! I don’t think I’ll ever recover from that—and I don’t really want to.

And that’s why I am most grateful.

“Gratitude has been called the gateway to the virtues. As Cicero put it, ‘Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all others,’ opening the heart to deeper appreciation, compassion, repentance, forgiveness, generosity and wisdom. Giving thanks should be cultivated as a habit. It is a kind of therapy for the spirit.” ~Bruce Chapman

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