Our Response: Praise and Thanksgiving

Hebrews 12:28  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.

When we see God for who He is, it makes us fear Him and love Him and as a result of those things obey Him, but it should also produce never-ending praise and thanksgiving. He’s the almighty God! He loves us! He saves us! He gives us everything we need! This is the God who commands feasting and resting! What a great God we serve!

What is the difference between praise and thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving has the most obvious meaning. It’s giving thanks. We thank God for the things He’s given us and done for us, which is everything. Every good and perfect gift is from God. Every meal you get to enjoy with others is a celebration of His goodness. Give thanks.

Praise is recognizing God for who He is, regardless of what He’s done for us. He is great whether or not our prayers are answered. He is perfect and awesome and majestic. We can praise and give Him honor, acknowledging His greatness and goodness, recognizing He is above all and set apart from everything, uncomparable. Nothing can be compared to Him.

Praise can look like singing. The Psalms are full of praises. God can be praised with instruments and dancing, which means words aren’t necessary to acknowledge and recognize Him. We can praise Him with our offerings and gifts. We are showing we know He is the high and exalted one.

When are we to give thanks and praise?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Praise and thanksgiving should be what we live and breathe! Read these verses. What should you be doing all day?

Ephesians 5:19-20 (BSB) Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It sounds like we’re supposed to be living in a musical, doesn’t it? I don’t think Paul went around breaking into song, but I know I speak the psalms often. I use them to encourage myself and others. They remind us of who God is. They remind us there is no need to be afraid because we can trust our God’s strength and watchful care for us. Fill your heart with music. Get a song full of God’s word stuck in your head all day. Run thankful thoughts in your mind instead of upset or worried thoughts. It will turn around your outlook on the day!

Here are a few more verses. These highlight some of the things I wrote.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Acts 14:17 (NLT) But he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.

Psalms 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?

Lesson Point: Our hearts should overflow with thanksgiving and praise.

Challenge Question: What’s on your mind all day? Does complaining have any place in the life of the Christian in light of who God is?