Day 26: Psalms of Thanksgiving

Our God So Near by Melanie Weidner

Today’s Reading
Psalms 75, 106, 136

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks; your name is near. – Psalm 75:1a (NRSV)

To learn more about Melanie Weidner’s inspiration for today’s artwork, click here

Observation
When I think of Psalms of Thanksgiving, Psalm 75 and 106 are not what I had in mind. Psalm 136 is more like it; the long list of God’s blessings and acts of salvation, each followed by a chorus of praise. Instead, Psalm 75 proclaims a rather harsh message of God’s judgment. Psalm 106 relates a long list of how God’s people were unfaithful and rebellious only to be spared by a righteous soul standing in the gap begging for God’s mercy.

Reading them again I see where all three psalms begin with words of thanksgiving and praise for God’s wondrous deeds. Wondrous deeds are not just what we would label as blessings or rescue or provision, things we usually give thanks for. True thanksgiving is tied to much more. True thanksgiving also includes acknowledging the wondrous deeds of God’s judgment and mercy and awesome presence, God’s character and God’s correction.

There are really three medicines that you should put in your medicine bundle every day, which are the power of genuine acknowledgment and gratitude, genuine apology, and the spirit of laughter and joy.
– Angeles Arrien, in a SoundsTrue interview by Tami Simon

Application
The One, True God is near. Close as a breath. Close as a word. God is imminent. Yet, I hesitate to call on the Name of the Lord, to ask for guidance, to speak of my needs and dreams. Not because God is awesome and alarming. I trust God’s welcome. Not because God is limitless and beyond my understanding. I know God’s invitation to seek and to ask. I simply do not take advantage of all that is offered to me. In my foolishness and pride, I leave this great gift unwrapped.

When Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult.
When he is absent, all is hard.
When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty,
but if he says only a word, it brings great consolation.
– Thomas a Kempis

Matthew 23:37
Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

Prayer
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us,
Thank you for you, every side of you.
Thank you for your patience and your presence.
Thank you for your holiness and your truth.
Forgive me for forsaking your abiding love and mercy,
Forgive me for forsaking your wisdom and grace,
Forgive me for forsaking your healing and correction.
I am foolish and full of pride.
Make me new. I am willing.
Open my eyes to your imminence.
Open my heart to your intimacy.
Teach me to seek you deeply
at all times and in all things.
Amen.

***********
You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms.  To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan

As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.

I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><

PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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