Psalm 100:4: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, / And into His courts with praise. / Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

October 11th, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The gates and courts this psalm speaks of entering are those of the tabernacle. So the psalmist, possibly David, was declaring that the correct way to begin worship is by first thanking God and choosing to be grateful. One of my favorite stories about choosing to be grateful happened to bible commentator Matthew Henry. After being robbed, he wrote in his diary:

Let me be thankful. First, because I have never been robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet, they did not take my life. Third, because, although, they took all that I had, it was not very much. Fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.

This is a beautiful example of how the difficulties of life try to rob us of joy. Being grateful in difficult circumstances is often the last thing we might think to be, which is why we must choose to thank God for the good things we do have and the bad things that have not happened. David then moved from thanking God to praising Him, bringing to mind the attributes that make Him God, including holiness, faithfulness, forgiveness, availability, etc., etc.

In 1636, during the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, reportedly buried 5000 of his church members in 1 year. That would make an average of 15 funerals every day. His homeland was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children, which we have all heard:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

This man obviously knew that thanksgiving comes from a heart full of the love of God, and is not dependant on outward circumstances.

“LORD, we thank You for all that You have spared us from and all the good things that You have given to us.”