THANKSGIVING FOR THE FUTURE
In Psalm 138, we reflect on the power of thanksgiving as it reminds us of God’s faithfulness in our past and builds confidence for facing the future. Read the psalm and keep the text open before you as you consider how these reflections can address you personally.
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.
— Psalm 138:1
Psalm 138 is a personal prayer of thanksgiving that teaches us
the power and importance of shaping our lives by thanksgiving.
When we thank God with our whole heart or being, it becomes a
witness against all of the other powers or gods that seek to rule our
lives (v. 1). Our bowing down in thanksgiving causes us to recall
that the true source of our blessing is the steadfast love and faithfulness
of God (v. 2).
In our prayers, we recall how God has been faithful to us in the
past and sustained us in times of need (v. 3). In addition, our thanksgiving
is in anticipation of the time when all the powers on earth
will recognize and praise God as the source of blessing (vv. 4-5).
There is a confidence that when the nations are aware of the character
of God, the rulers of earth will humble themselves because
they know God responds to the lowly (v. 6). Even as we engage in
such a prayer, we increase our assurance about the future as we
rehearse how God responded to us when we were lowly and in
need (v. 7).
Our thanksgiving is completed when, having acknowledged
how often God has been there for us in the past, it suddenly
dawns on us that God’s faithful activity in our lives suggests that
God holds our life as of value. We are the work of God’s hands
and, therefore, we can pray with confidence: “Do not forsake the
work of your hands” (v. 8).
Take a few moments to briefly reflect on your journey and how God has been there in both the high and low moments.
Then consider what that means for how you face the current challenges of your ministry.
Finally consider the value of engaging your congregation in repeated acts of thanksgiving as they prepare for the future.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR MINISTRY IN WHATEVER FORM IT TAKES.