Do you remember a time when you unexpectedly received a long-awaited answer to prayer?
Sometimes an answer comes sneaking in, blows us away, and is exactly what we hoped. When God answers us in miraculous ways, hopefully, there is still a lingering, comforting sense of sameness because the God we worshiped yesterday–when our stomach was in knots and all felt hopeless–is the same God today, when our spirits soar. The God who answered today is the same God who held our heart so tenderly during those months of heartache.
Yesterday God was good and sure and constant, just like He is today. Our worship doesn’t suddenly restart because now He answered our cry. In the same way, when Thanksgiving Day comes around again, our feelings of gratitude should not suddenly resurface. No, it’s the same anthem of thanksgiving–sung on repeat in our hearts, no matter the day. True, there may be a richer, deeper level of gratitude, but our confidence and hope are still the same.
We don’t worship or give thanks because of what we pray He will do. We worship simply because He will do what He will do. And He will do it at the proper time. It will be good and right and always exactly His plan. Does He promise to answer our prayers as we desire, in our timing? Does He promise to come through according to our hopes? No. His promises are surer and deeper! They are everlasting promises.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises . . .” (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Often we need to command our souls to worship in spite of sorrow, so that the anthem is ready to continue after answered prayer. A soul secure in Jesus worships no matter the season. Do you have a certain song you return to again and again? Perhaps for you, it is “Great is Thy Faithfulness” or maybe “Great I Am.” In painful times, it is helpful for our souls to cling to songs of encouragement that proclaim truth. Then, in rejoicing for answered prayer or in times of gratitude, it is beautiful to return to the anthem you sang in sorrow. On Thanksgiving Day, sing your song and worship. Sing again and let your heart respond to God with gratitude and praise.
May we not be a people who only worship with gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. But may that day simply be a continuation of the every day, grateful posture of our heart. Let our anthem resound!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).