Written by: Tim Wood
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord, 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. (Psalm 116:12-14)
Margaret Craven tells of a young minister, Mark Brian, who is sent by a bishop to a remote parish of Kwakiutl Indians in British Columbia. The Indians, he is told, do not have a word for thank you. But Brian soon finds that these people show exceptional gratitude. He learns that instead of saying thank you, it is their custom to return every favor with a favor of their own. They don’t say thank you, they do thank you.
We have much for which to thank God and most of the time we’re good at verbalizing our thanksgiving. Is there a way to show our thanks to God? Can we do thanksgiving to God that would bring Him glory? There is no way we can ever repay God for all His benefits to us. But is there a way to show Him we’re thankful? Psalm 116 teaches us a few ways to “do” thanksgiving toward God:
Verse 13 – We can lift up His salvation so others can see it. We do thanksgiving when we live out the Gospel in public. When we are not ashamed of the Gospel. When we are ready to give an answer to those who may ask us about our faith. When we shine His light rather than hide it. When we share His goodness rather than keep it.
Verse 14 – We can keep the promises we make to God. We do thanks toward God when we are faithful to his calling and the gifts He has given to us. We do thanks to God when we serve others with the gifts that God has so graciously loaned us.
Verse 16 says, “O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.” We can do thanks toward God by walking in the freedom that He has given us.
Verse 17 says, “I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” In verse 19 the Psalmists says we praise God in the courts of the House of the Lord. In other words, public worship. We can do thanksgiving toward God by bringing an attitude of gratitude into our public worship gatherings.
Let’s not only tell God we’re thankful, let’s show God we’re thankful. I want to encourage you to “do thanks” toward God. He deserves it. And our lives will be enriched as we practice thanksgiving toward God.