Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.Psalm 100:4
A reflection by Kristine Lee
The first exercises of good manners many of our parents have taught us is to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. As adults, we teach the same to children, understanding it helps starve the children of a sense of entitlement, and humbly recognise in gratitude the hand that provided.
It’s no secret that God loves thanksgiving and praise. The entire Book of Psalms is dedicated to that. Is God egoistic? Far from it. Just like us teaching children how to say thanks, God’s delight in our praise stems also from a heart that is for us.
Thanksgiving points to God’s goodness and our relationship with Him. Praise, on the other hand, points to God’s greatness and His attributes. Thanksgiving reminds us of all that God has done. When we meet with difficult circumstances, we are reminded that God is still sovereign and still saves. Praise turns our focus on God and the truth about His attributes and character. When we magnify Him, our problems become so small in comparison to our Almighty God. Both thanksgiving and praise flow from one to the other. You don’t just stop at the gates. You enter the courts too!
When we focus on God and declare who He is, it’s not just a perspective shift, it is a spiritual shift too! Thanksgiving and praise are the greatest weapons of spiritual warfare we can use. The walls of Jericho came down with just praise! When we enter His gates with thanksgiving and courts with praise, we enter into the presence of God. He dwells in the praises of His people. And in His presence there can only be victory!