It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to His name, O Most High. (Psalm 92:1)
No doubt about it, 2020 has shown us many things we are not thankful for. An unprecedented great economy has plunged into depression because of an evil global pandemic that shut everything down. Millions lost their jobs and thousands of businesses closed their doors forever. Millions sick and dying. Multitudes have been shut-in to depression and loneliness. Hospitals are full. And as we close in on the end of this horrible year, it just seems to get worse.
Can there be any reason to be thankful to God during this time of crisis, pain and loss? YES! It is during this time that our focus must turn to eternal things that are not influenced by events of time and space. These eternal spiritual things never change, not matter what, because they come from the God who never changes, the eternal one, the Rock upon which we can build our lives and our eternity. If we build our lives upon the rock of His truth and do the things He says, our lives will weather the storms of life that wreak havoc on people who have not built their lives on this Rock of Ages.
So, it is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to His name. That’s what we should be doing in times of need. When we are on our backs is when we should look up.
The following is taken from Psalm 92. He is the only one who is eternally and daily kind and faithful. He alone deserves praise with musical instruments. He makes us glad by working on our behalf. We triumph in the great works of His hands. His thoughts are deep and they are on those who fear Him. The senseless one, the fool and the wicked do not thank God. In times of trouble they blame God. We must never fall into this trap. Jesus said He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
He anoints our heads with oil and our cups run over. “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
We are told in Colossians 3:1-4 to “Seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting on the right hand of God; and set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth.” We do not ignore the bad, we just focus on the good and remain thankful to God for being good to us. As bad as it gets the Christian is in Christ and therefore died with Him and were raised with Him. We have eternal life because we are in Christ. Our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our life, not the temporary things of this life. And one day He will appear and we shall appear with Him in glory.
Because of all these things it is good to give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to His name. We can be thankful in all things without being thankful for all things.
The first night of my year in Nepal at the children’s home was followed but God reminding me of this. I had spent the day meeting the orphans and poor children in that home. They went to bed in the basement of that huge church building and I went to sleep in my room on the second floor. I was awakened before daylight with the children singing in English. The song was drifting into my dark room as they sang the words of a famous chorus: “Give thanks with a grateful heart; Give thanks to the Holy One; give thanks …” At that precise moment I thought, “What in the world do these children have to be thankful for?” Then the next words of the chorus reached my ears, “… because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”
I was reminded what we can always be thankful for, no matter how dark the night. We can always be thankful that “God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.”
So, go ahead and thank God. This is 2020 vision, even in the year 2020, and beyond.