Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his mercy endures forever (Ps. 136:1). As the choir leads the congregation in worship this morning, my heart is filled with thankfulness as I reflected on the music ministry these past two years. Early in the pandemic, when singing was identified as a high-risk activity in the spread of COVID-19, choir rehearsals were immediately suspended.
For two years, God’s grace saw us through many challenges. Rehearsing in zoom was difficult. Due to internet latency problems, the choir could not sing together. Learning moved in a much slower pace. Singing individually required great courage. The need for weekly and monthly recordings seemed unending. Yet in spite of all these, God protected and filled my heart with hope and joy. For every lesson learned, it was accompanied by a blessing. Through this journey, God slowly taught me how to be thankful.
I don’t know what you are facing right now, whether you are thankful or struggling to be. Take heart, you are not alone. Believers all over the world struggled to be thankful. A Christian hymn writer, Johnson Oatman Jr., exhorts Christians to count their blessings. Another hymn writer, August Ludvig Storm, expresses his thanksgiving to God twenty-six times in his three-stanza hymn. When Job loses his family, property and health, he said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God wants His children to be thankful even in the midst of difficulty because He is always in control. He knows what we are going through (Heb. 4:14-16) and promised to be with us (Matt. 28:20). When we choose to thank God in every situation, when we focused our eyes on him, when we believe that he is in control, we honour him. In addition, when we live a life of gratitude, it affects the way we relate to others as we show Christlikeness in our speech, thought and action.
Are you having a hard time giving thanks? Pray and ask God to help you.