The Psalms cover many different emotions and settings. Lament Psalms are the most common, followed by liturgical Psalms, written for public worship. The third most common are Psalms of thanksgiving. Be they Psalms of personal thanks giving, or of corporate thanksgiving, or hymns designed to be sung together.
Contemporary research informs us there are tangible benefits to being thankful. For the individual this includes: increased happiness and positive mood; more satisfaction with life; less materialistic; less likely to experience burnout; better physical health; better sleep; less fatigue; lower levels of cellular inflammation; greater resilience; encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom.
For groups this includes: increases pro-social behaviours; strengthens relationships; may help workplace effectiveness; and may increase job satisfaction. [https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/]
If being thankful is good for our psyche, how much more true is this for Christians? We have a good God who cares for us. Gratitude ought to be the most natural of responses for us. Gratitude honours God, and nourishes our souls.
Ours is a culture that creates discontent. I will be happy if I have the next thing. This is a never-ending treadmill. So, this week, if you catch yourself being discontent, practice gratitude. Individually, and corporately. Ask others around the dinner table what they are thankful for.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever…. for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Ps 107:1, 9).
Download this week's newsletter here.