“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” - Psalm 136:1
Imagine this for a moment: You are competing in the Olympic Games; but you know ahead of time that you are not going to win a gold medal. Which medal would you prefer to win instead, the silver or the bronze? A study of Olympic medal winners produced some shocking results. Most people assumed that the silver medalists would be happier than the bronze medalists since they received a higher honor (and a higher score). But that is not the case. Those who came in 3rd place were found to be happier than those who came in 2nd place. Why?
The bronze medalists were just thrilled to have medaled at all. Most of them were not expecting to win a medal. The silver medalists, however, felt more like losers because they did not place first. This is a great illustration of human nature when it comes to gratitude. We tend to be more ungrateful for what we don’t have than grateful for what we do have.
Being thankful is a big deal to God. The Bible speaks of gratitude and thanksgiving 69 times. Of these 69 times, the phrase, “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever,” appears at least six times in the Old Testament. This one sentence gives us all the reason we could ever need to be grateful to God: He is good; and His love endures forever.
So often, we base our gratitude on external circumstances. We look around to see how life is going. If we like what we see, we might be thankful. If we don’t, we complain. And far too often, we are just indifferent either way. The truth is, however, there is always reason for thanksgiving. The goodness and enduring love of God is evident at all times, in all circumstances. But we must choose to see it.
Father, Open my eyes to Your goodness and enduring love today. Create in me an attitude of thanksgiving and praise to You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.