O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1
For what are you thankful? The thought resonated as I read Psalm 136 during my morning devotions.
I gazed at the green canopy of treetops through my bedroom window. Family, food, a roof over our heads, clothing, the privilege of being home with my kids, a book contract, finishing my book on time, knowing Jesus, health, a good church…
I looked at the Psalm again. Why did the Psalmist repeat “for his mercy endureth forever” 26 times over the 26 verses? The question lingered in my mind for several days, and the possible answers came in bits and pieces. Maybe because it’s important enough to bear repeating. But why? Maybe it’s because we’re prone to forget that God’s love endures forever. Because it’s what matters the most.
The latter reason hit hard. Most often, when I’m thankful, it concerns to material blessings. But as I studied the Psalm, I found that the Psalmist’s outpouring of thankfulness focused more on the intangible—the attributes of God and what He has done for His people--His goodness, His wonders, His creation, deliverance, protection (verses 1-22) rather than material provisions. (Only one verse—verse 25 spoke about Him giving food to every creature.)
Verses 23 and 24 grabbed my attention: “Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth forever: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.” God remembered me when I was wallowing in the filth of sin, and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice so I might live (1 John 4:9).
All of a sudden the pieces came together in my mind. That’s why the Psalmist repeated “for His mercy endureth forever.” It’s because I’m to delight in God’s love. It’s because of His love that I live. It’s because of His grace that I am who I am. Nothing would be possible without His love!
The realization of the depth and magnitude of His love causes me to bow before Him saying, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house that thou hast brought me hitherto?” (1 Chronicles 17:16).
So as I reflect on 2010, gratitude to my Savior and Lord overwhelms me. As I end another Christmas celebration and enter a new year, I’m delighting in the gift of all time. The gift that never loses its glitter and joy, the gift that is for eternity—Jesus and His love that endures forever.