As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday week here in the U.S., take a moment to read Psalm 96 and let it be your guide to praising God and giving him thanks:
1. Sing a new song
If you have my musical abilities this can be frightening thoughts so here are a few suggestions. Lookup praise and worship songs on youtube or ask some friends to recommend something they have heard recently – a great conversation starter for any friendship. Also think outside of the box, like poetry and sing that to God. I’ll sing my new song in my head this week and base it on his salvation and blessing His name (verse 1).
2. Declare His glory and works
What has God done, specifically, in your life this year? Maybe you’ve had peace in difficult times; maybe unexpected blessings; maybe you are learning to find joy in struggles. Whatever it is give Him the glory rather than accepting praise as your own. Remember your accomplishments are not yours but are His and for His glory.
3. Fear God above all others
This may seem out of place but it actually fits perfectly. The word means to “fear; morally, to revere” and so as such we take an active role in be thankful that He is above all. Think about all the possible gods we let creep into our lives…idols, things, people, success, pride, etc., that we put before God at times in our life. By placing appropriately fearing God we recognize his ultimate place. Be thankful for a reverent fear of God this Thanksgiving.
4. Ascribe strength to God
Ascribe is an active acknowledging of this attribute of God’s character. Give thanks to God by acknowledging this attribute of God. How has God been your source of strength this year? Take a moment to think about and give Him thanks for having that strength the we so desperately need each day!
5. Ascribe glory due Him
Again, take time to acknowledge His glory. This is not something we just need to see but we need to recognize that glory is due Him! He owns it…He is it…He deserves all the glory we and everything in the universe can muster! This Thanksgiving take heart and passionately give him glory. Two ways mentioned in verse 8 are to bring offerings and to come into his courts. He wants your time, energy, possessions, and for you to be in relationship with Him.
6. Worship in the splendor of His holiness
Give thanks to God for his splendor, His beauty, and His holiness. One way of expressing our thanks is to worship Him. Don’t wait for a special time, worship Him now, today, in whatever you are doing.
7. Tremble before Him
This is a cry for us and all the earth to tremble before Him but this trembling is more like a trembling dance in awe of the splendor of His holiness. This is a joyful trembling. I don’t dance. It’s not that I don’t dance well…it’s that I don’t dance at all. Join me in trembling before God this week – we can laugh together as we give thanks to God in this way!
8. Let all of nature give thanks.
Take some time to go outside and look at all that God has created. Give him thanks and listen to and watch nature give thanks to God. The sounds, the smells, the visuals, and the feel of all that God created give thanks to Him for being the Creator.
Lord, I worship you and give you thanks will all that I have today. Amen!