“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever…”
(Psalm 136:1-3 ESV)
We typically spend our time focusing on what we want God to do for us. We look at the promises, given to us in Scripture, and long for them to be fulfilled. We offer to him our prayers, again and again, laying our requests before his feet. And we wait anxiously to have our requests satisfied.
The longer we wait, the more discontent we become. The longer we wait, the more we begin to question God. The longer we wait, the more we doubt his love and goodness.
However, have you ever taken the time to contemplate God’s faithfulness? Have you taken the time to consider all that he’s done for you? In Psalm 136, the Psalmist does just that. He then responds to each remembrance of God’s faithfulness with the reminder that the love of God endures forever.
He remembers, first of all, God’s work of creation. He goes on to remember God’s work of deliverance, in bringing Israel out of Egypt. He then remembers God’s work in leading his people through the wilderness. And, finally, he remembers how God granted the people victory over the inhabitants of the Promised Land, giving it to Israel.
Like the Psalmist, we can remember that it’s God who made us and who’s given us life. We can remember his deliverance from sin and death, provided to us in Jesus. We can remember his guidance and provision. And we can remember how he’s brought us into the good place in which we find ourselves.
As we do so, as we look back upon the work God has done for us, as we remember the blessings he’s bestowed upon us, it changes our perspective. No longer do we question God. No longer do we become frustrated as we await his answer to prayer or the fulfillment of his promises. We, instead, live life in the knowledge of his unending love.
This is a great practice for us as we enter into the New Year. As others spend their time looking ahead, as they spend their time focusing on changes they want to make in their life, we can focus on the blessings God has given us. We can look at where we are and remember from where he’s brought us. And this will only encourage us as we anticipate his continued provision and blessing, along with the fulfillment of the promises he’s given us.