Thanksgiving is upon us again! 2020 has been an unusual and tumultuous year, to say the least! We have all experienced events we never thought would happen. From COVID to at-home learning for our school-age students to a rancorous election cycle, 2020 has been a challenge for all of us.
It is easy in times like these for us to focus on what we missed, what didn’t happen, what we had to give up rather than on the steadfast love of God.
Psalm 100 says:
A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
3 Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
This is the only Psalm in the Psalter to bear this title. In it, we are called to shout joyfully to the Lord. The word translated “Lord” is the word used to indicate Yahweh, the covenant making, and covenant keeping God. This is the God Who made the universe. He created humanity as the crown of creation. He guards His beloved. He guides them. He redeems them. We seem to have no trouble shouting joyfully for our favorite sports star/team when they do something that in the grand scheme of the universe, is absolutely meaningless. Their achievement is transitory. We remember it for but a moment.
Why then, do we not shout joyfully to the Lord, the Creator, the Redeemer? Why do we not serve Him with gladness? Why don’t we come before Him with joyful singing?
This Thanksgiving, let’s all focus on verses 4 and 5. Let us all come into His presence with thanksgiving! He made us! We are His people! The psalmist is not just calling us to private thanksgiving. He is calling all of God’s people to come together and bless His name! When we think that the gates the psalmist mentions are now open to every believer in Jesus how can we not give thanks to Him and bless His name? The writer of Hebrews said: “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:19-23). Jesus opened the gates for us to come into the very Holy of Holies and praise Him!
We thank Him because He is good. We Thank Him because His lovingkindness (one of my favorite words in the Bible!) is everlasting! Spurgeon said “So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks.” We are givers of thanks because His faithfulness is not just to the generations of the Bible, but because His faithfulness extends to all of those who know Jesus as their Savior. We thank Him because Heaven is our home and He is coming to take us there to be with Him forever!
So, this Thanksgiving, let’s (thankfully) put 2020 behind us and focus on the real reason we can be thankful, even in a year none of us would have chosen. The Lord is good! His lovingkindness is everlasting! Let us all join together in thanking Him!