Have we waited far too long now to surrender? Forgive us, O God, the years we failed to seek your face. Oh Lord, Your mercy turns us into grateful people. We can't seem to find the words, so take our lives that they might be enough.
This is the chorus of a song by Christy Nockels of Watermark. We sang it this Sunday at church as the service proclaimed being grateful. In children's church Josh and I got to help teach about the Feasts of Unleavened Bread, Harvest, and Booths, as celebrations the Lord told the Israelites to keep in order to remind them to be thankful for the things He had done.
Reminders to be thankful.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)
Always giving thanks for what? For blessings? For strength? For family? Yes, and more.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:10-14)
John Piper wrote a book called God is the Gospel. I haven't read it yet, but from the title, and from what Josh has told me about it, the premise is that the Good News is that we get God. It's not about heaven or hell, though they are real places. It's not about rewards and blessings. Ultimately the Good News is that we get God.
God's mercy must turn us into grateful people. And if we can't be grateful for being rescued from the dominion of darkness, then our thanksgiving will be based on circumstances. There is nothing wrong with being thankful for blessings - please give thanks! Let us also remember to be thankful for the Giver. Let us be thankful even if it seems no other good thing crosses our path. Let us be grateful that the mystery of the Gospel is that we can have relationship with God.
We can't seem to find the words, so take our lives that they might be enough.