Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day nineteen with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful that God reigns over all the earth.
Thankful That God Reigns
“The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.”
Psalm 97:1 (NIV)
Today I am thankful for a God who reigns with an intent to bring gladness to mankind. It is comforting to know that God’s rule is from everlasting to everlasting regardless of who may think they happen to be the real authority. I am thankful for a God who reigns with mercy, grace, and love. Yes, there will be a day of final judgment; but now is a time when “the Lord is patient, not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance.” I am thankful for the Lord’s patience as He reigns and I am thankful that He gives cause for all peoples to rejoice,
It seems that with each passing year our culture becomes more and more angry. I believe one of the reasons for this is that we think we are in charge and tend to become very upset when we don’t get our way. Our society, and even the Christian culture in America, has succumbed to mob rule — whoever gathers the greatest number of people, and becomes the loudest in their demands, gets to have their way in everything. We are a nation of spoiled children who have learned that holding our breath, throwing a tantrum, and/or screaming bloody murder will eventually wear mom or dad down to the point that they will give us whatever we want. In fact, our culture reminds me a lot of the scene on Mount Carmel where the prophets of Baal thought that their theatrics would somehow get the attention of their god. When it didn’t work, they became louder and more bizarre in their actions in a vain attempt to prove their superiority to Elijah and his God.
I am thankful that I can go to a God who reigns and I can boldly lay out everything that is within me with a confidence He will work in ways that brings gladness and rejoicing. I am thankful that “the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.” I am thankful that I have a relationship with the One who has all authority and power — even over those who think they are in charge.
I pray that you and I would believe in the One who reigns with such conviction that He is the one we go to when seeking justice, help, and understanding. I pray that we would always look to God and His Word as the authority we are most accountable to. I pray that we would truly believe, and pray as if, there is nothing more powerful in bringing about right and needed changes than praying to the One who reigns over all. I pray that God reigning in and over our lives would result not just in gladness and joy for us, but in rejoicing by all who get to see God in us. And I pray that we would not give in to the temptation to join the “mob of the day” in an attempt to get what we want.