It is Good to Give Thanks

Psalms 92:1-4 ESV

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.”

Yes! It is good to give thanks to the Lord in all things and for all things, not that we give thanks for evil, for sin, for wickedness. But we do give thanks for trials and tribulations which come our way, sometimes through wicked and evil people, because our trials help us to be humble and to learn to depend on God and not on ourselves. And they teach us perseverance, and so we share in God’s holiness. So, they are for our good.

When we give thanks to the Lord, even in difficult times, and even when we are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake and we are being mistreated and falsely accused and ostracized because we stand on the truth of God’s Holy Word, it helps us to have the right heart attitudes about our trials and about other people. Singing helps, too – singing songs of praise to the Lord or songs which encourage us in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ.

It is also good for all of us to make declarations of our faith in Jesus Christ publicly so that other Christians can be encouraged (exhorted, urged) in their walks of faith in the Lord. But these declarations need to be specific and not generic regarding the difference our faith in Jesus is making in our lives, and they should be biblical in truth and not be taken from writings of humans who are not teaching the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And these declarations should speak of our God’s steadfast love for us, for his people, and of his faithfulness. They should tell of all of his works, which include us, his people, who are his workmanship who he created in Christ Jesus for good works which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them. We should tell of his saving grace and how he died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

Psalms 92:5-9 ESV

“How great are your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.”

Yes, our Lord’s thoughts are very deep, but if we are in Christ, by genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we have the mind of Christ within us, because God, by his Spirit is now living within us. It doesn’t mean we know everything God knows or everything he is thinking, but we will know the kinds of things he thinks about and we will know his heart and his mind about life and love and relationships and his salvation and our circumstances, etc.

But those who are foolish, who are unwise, thoughtless, irresponsible, reckless, and self-indulgent, they will not have the mind of Christ, and they will not be able to comprehend the thoughts of God. They may understand them somewhat on an intellectual level, but not deeply, and not personally, and not intimately. They will not be able to discern the things of the Spirit because they are still walking in the flesh.

They who are foolish and self-indulgent, who are wicked in their deeds, who are evildoers who are intentional about their sin and about hurting others, although they may seem to flourish right now, they are doomed to destruction forever. And this isn’t just Old Testament teaching. The New Testament teaches the same. And this includes those who are making a false confession of faith in Jesus who will not turn from sin and who will not obey the Lord. They will not inherit the kingdom of God.

For we are all going to be judged by our works. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. And if sin is what we practice, we will die in our sins, but if righteousness is what we practice, then we have the hope of heaven when we die. And if we do not obey the Lord, we do not know him and he does not know us. So please take this to heart.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Psalms 92:12-15 ESV

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

Now, when this says that the righteous flourish, it means that we increase in our faith, and we succeed spiritually in doing the will of God, by the grace of God, and that we are productive spiritually, and that we are bearing the fruit of righteousness for God’s eternal kingdom and for the glory of God. And others are benefitting from our walks of faith and from our testimonies for the Lord Jesus and from us sharing the truths of God’s Word with them.

And it means that we are growing spiritually, and that we are maturing in our walks of faith, and we are continually learning and growing in our intimate knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And this is not about head knowledge, but this is about practical knowledge that we are applying to our everyday lives as we learn more and more of what God has for us to do and as we are doing what he says to do, in his power.

I like this part about “they still bear fruit in old age.” I am now 72 years old, so I have lived a lifetime, so I am definitely in that “old age” category. But I think I have had much more fruit bearing in my senior years than I ever did in my younger years, all glory to God. For I was 54 years old when the Lord called me to this ministry of writing what he teaches me from his word and then placing it on the internet so that a runner could “run with it.”

And the Lord does indeed have me declaring daily that he, the Lord, is upright, that he is my Rock, my fortress, my strength, and that there is no unrighteousness in him. And, included in that is, if we are his body, we are to be living upright and godly lives, and sin is to no longer be our master, for Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. And if we refuse to forfeit our lives of sin in order to follow Jesus Christ in obedience, then we don’t have eternal life in him.

My Jesus, My Savior

Michael W. Smith

My Jesus, My Saviour,
Lord, there is none like you,
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You…

I sing for joy at the work of your hands,
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

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