“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” Psalm 111:1
Our thanks to the Lord shouldn’t be confined to our private moments with Him. Specific praise for what He has done, how He has changed our lives, should be shared with those around us. When we pour out our wholehearted thanks for what God has done in our lives, on a personal level instead of just on the grand scale of history, it gives encouragement and hope to those around us. There is a line to be aware of, certain details that aren’t necessary or beneficial, but we need to be open about how God has shown Himself strong and faithful to us. Evidence of our relationship with Him.
It’s easier, perhaps, to focus only on what He’s done for all of us. The sacrifice of Jesus, the salvation and abundant life He offers. But I think what makes that more real is focusing also on our individual stories. Who is God in your day-to-day? How has He worked in your details? What strength, what grace did He pour into you as you walked through trial and pain?
These stories give application to the gospel. They demonstrate that our God is real. He is active. He is involved in our lives. He sees us, knows us, and loves us. He doesn’t stand idly by, but is in fact our perfect help.
When God sends us comfort, when He fills us with unexplainable peace and inexpressible joy, when we experience strength to walk through incredible difficulty or know the arms of our Savior carrying us in the hardest moments, we are meant to share that. To give thanks in the congregation. To risk vulnerability. So that they know they’ll make it. They’ll survive what they’re going through. They’re not crazy. There is still hope and joy here. There is light in their darkness. God can and will show up in their circumstances and meet them where they are.
I pray that God would make us more transparent. That He would conquer our fear so we can be wholehearted in our praise, shedding the masks that hinder us from sharing what He has done in and for us. I pray He will open our eyes to see opportunities to share our story and give us wisdom to know what to say.
He is a great God. He has done great things in the lives of His people. “He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful” (Psalm 111:4). Let us remember His wondrous works, His faithfulness to us, so that we and others would know that He truly is gracious and merciful. We all need reminders that God’s promises are still true and applicable to our lives. May we live and speak in such a way that people see how His Word has proven true in us.