Thankfulness to God

Thankfulness always reigns in the hearts of those who know God and love Him. This is exemplified many times in the Old and New Testaments. Thus, in the forty-seventh Psalm, verse seven, we find the words, expressing the gratitude which was in the Psalmist's thought as he wrote them, "For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding." With understanding! The thankfulness was to be co-ordinate with understanding!

How often thankfulness was expressed by Christ Jesus! A familiar instance occurred when he raised Lazarus to life from his deep sleep. Before calling his friend to come forth, the Master, turning his thought to God, "lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always." Jesus understood, and, as did the Psalmist, expressed his thanks to the Giver of all life. There was the occasion also on which, thinking of the truth he had been able to impart to his followers and of its healing effects, he "rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Luke 10:21).

Thankfulness and gratitude were esteemed by Jesus. He knew their value, when genuine, to those expressing them; and he did not fail to distinguish between genuine thankfulness and the spurious forms of it. It was he who told the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee in the parable "stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are. ... The publican, standing afar off, ... smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:11, 13). The Pharisee's expression of thanks was a mockery of thanksgiving. The publican's prayer, bringing forgiveness, was bound to enkindle in the suppliant genuine gratitude.

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November 28, 1936

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