November 27, 2018
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 27 November 2018
Psalm 138 teaches the importance of expressing thanksgiving in praise. Anyone can pray to the god of their imagining but they cannot give praise. Paganism conveys thoughts concerning the world but not any thanksgiving. For the believer, praise and prayer should be a spiritual discipline. The psalmist’s praise arose from a thankful heart. Psalm 138 describes how to have a thankful heart for God.
Walking “in the midst of trouble” should not prevent the believer’s praise (vv. 1-3); indeed, they can help one pray and praise even more. In spite of the good and bad in a transient world, the believer can say, “I will give You thanks with all my heart.” Such adoration is volitional. The love of God towards his people is the most basic reason for giving thanks. While people may recognize other “gods,” the psalmist gave thanks to the one true, living God. The word “thank” is derived from the Latin word tongēre, and the root tong means “think,” thus the original manner for expressing thanks to someone else was to think what they have done for you. Thanksgiving for the believer arises from thinking with regard to God’s blessings.
Needing help for making decisions, the believer calls upon God and has the assurance that He will make one “bold with strength.” Believers are not dependent on self for power; rather, it is God who gives strength to one’s soul. Nothing is more pleasing to God than for his people to depend upon Him, and to recognize that as soon as we call to the Lord in prayer, He does answer.
Therefore, exalt God for all his ways (vv. 4-5). Elected officials are public servants; they speak in public. Similarly, when giving thanks to God, do so publicly with others. Take opportunities in public to give praise to God. Giving thanks to God in public demonstrates one is willing to exhibit thankfulness in appropriate proportion to the blessings and gifts received from the Lord (cf. Matt 10:32).
Difficulties will arise (Ps 138:6-7), yet the believer depends upon God in those circumstances. Psalm 23:4 affirms, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Whatever purposes God has for his people will be accomplished and thus we may legitimately feel invincible within the Lord’s will.
Know that God will fulfil his purposes for you because his lovingkindness is everlasting and He does not forsake the works of his hands (138:8). Faith is unwavering when trusting in the overruling sovereignty of God. No matter what others may do, God’s eternal purposes for your life will be accomplished. Ephesians 2:10 declares that believers are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” God will perfect his plans for you and make you a better person in the process (cf. Phil 2:12-13). Praise arises from a thankful heart! Therefore, live with a bold confidence always giving thanks to the sovereign God whose love is everlasting toward his people and who overrules all until his divinely appointed purposes are fulfilled.
REMINDER: the Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Studyis next Tuesday, 4th of DecemberRoom 123 CAP, Basement of Georgia's Capitol, @ 12 Noon