Have you heard the song A Thousand Hallelujah’s yet? It is a beautiful song, and I wept at the words the first time I heard them. It left me thinking “Do I have a 1000 reasons to praise God?”
The answer is… I better! But could I actually list 1000 things?
A couple of weeks ago, something happened that caught me off guard and left me really unsettled. This was something out of my control and left me really sick to my stomach. As this happened, the 1 Thessalonians 5:18 verse ran through my head. In all things, give thanks.
I wondered in that moment how I was supposed to be thankful when this was going on around me, and seemingly will never end. What was I supposed to be thankful for? Because I was not thankful for how I was feeling, or the situation I was again in, or anything that led to the moment I was in.
And this is how life goes. We can go through life and can have everything going well. And then things in life happen that can leave us wondering what our response will be.
“anything that leads me to trust Jesus more…”
My friend said something to me regarding a situation of her own that struck me.
“Anything that causes me to have to trust Jesus more is good for me.” This struck me in the moment, because I was struggling on how to be thankful. And for me, as I considered this, it meant that I can be thankful for anything that causes me to trust Jesus more. And trust me, I needed to trust Him, and believe He was my strong tower, safe refuge, strength, hiding place, redemption, mighty fortress, and so much more.
When we face situations that leave us wondering how to respond, one of our responses can always be giving thanks, or praise. Giving thanks was the answer that i needed. But if I am honest though, giving thanks wasn’t the answer I really wanted, because I found, giving thanks can often be the last thing we want to do, leaving praise to feel like a sacrifice. Sacrifice is hard. I have said this before, and I will say it again… if it is not hard, it is not sacrifice.
3 scriptures that affirm why we should give thanks in all things.
But why should we give thanks in all things? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 concludes by saying to give thanks in all things because it is God’s will for our life. And if giving thanks in all things is God’s will for our life, then giving thanks in spite of all things is what we need to do.
Beyond this, we need to continually offer the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15), because despite what is going on around us, He is still worthy of our praise. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are chosen so that we can declare the praise of the One who called us out of darkness into light. Praise is our purpose. It was why we were chosen. For His glory to be praised and known.
Don’t you just love that His word really does answer all of life’s hard questions?
Beyond this, what else can we be thankful for?
So back to the song. The last time we sang it at church, I was just coming to the realization that I can be thankful for anything that leads me to trust Jesus more. And as we were singing this song about 1000 Hallelujahs (hallelujah is an expression of praise or rejoicing), I wondered to myself “Do I have 1000 things to praise God for, to give Him thanks for, to say “Hallelujah” for?”
One line in the song particularly made me consider this more. “Who else would rocks cry out to worship…. perhaps creation longs to have the words to sing, but this joy is mine.”
So I made the decision right there. I was going to go buy a journal, and over time write 1000 things to praise God for. I share this, not because I think it is noble task, but because if I write it, I am making a commitment to do it, and now accountable. It may take a while. But if praise is my purpose, than praise is what I will be doing. It is His will for my life.
So would you join me? Maybe not 1000 things, although He is more than worth of 1000, and 1000 more. But maybe write 10 things a day He is worthy of praise for.
One final thought…
I thought of the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry, and as the crowd was praising Him, the Pharisees told Him to rebuke His disciples. In response, Jesus says, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Even if we cease to praise Him, He would not be without honor. God’s praise can never be silenced. If we don’t praise Him, creation will. But dear friends, let’s not give rocks the joy that is ours! May His praise come from our hearts, and declared from our lips.