With Thanksgiving

A Closer Look With Dr. Charles Stanley: Why is gratitude essential to worship?

Psalm 100 is a triumphant song of praise, and you won’t find a single negative note in it. In a world filled with bad news and dire situations, this psalm is a joyful invitation to look upwards and discover the wonder and greatness of our God. The Lord is the key figure in this passage that inspires us to respond in joyful worship, praise, and gratitude. Let’s begin by reading Psalm 100:1-5.

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.”

The first verse is a call to worship, but it’s also a preview of the future. The Hebrew word rua, which literally means “to raise a shout; give a blast,” indicates the acclamation that subjects give when their king appears among them. In this psalm, everyone on earth is called to worship the Lord. Ultimately, this will be fulfilled when Christ returns as King of Kings to rule the entire earth. Until then, God’s people are the ones who worship, praise, and adore Him.

The Manner of Our Worship

In verses 1-2, both the attitude and the actions of worship are revealed through three references to joy and the accompanying responses.

• The first one signifies triumphant joy that proclaims God’s sovereignty.

• The second one is the gladness that should characterize our service for the Lord.

• The third is joy expressed in songs of praise to the Lord.

Worship and praise are the means by which we overcome discouragement and despair. The more we focus on the Lord instead of our circumstances, the greater will be our joy, even if nothing around us changes.

The Reasons For Our Praise and Thanksgiving

We are commanded to know that the Lord is God. The height of our worship flows from the depth of our knowledge of Him. If we know little, our praise will be limited. But as we learn from Scripture and grow in intimate knowledge of the Lord, our adoration of Him increases. In verses 3-5 of this powerful psalm, the psalmist shares wonderful reasons to thank and worship God.

He has made us. Not only is God our Creator, but He has also made us new creations in Christ and is continually transforming us into His likeness.

• We are His people. The Lord claims us as His own possession, and the Holy Spirit within us is His seal of ownership.

We are the sheep of His pasture. As our shepherd, He is our provider, protector, and guide.

The Lord is good. He works on our behalf, and we never have to doubt His benevolence toward us (Isaiah 64:4).

• His lovingkindness is everlasting. This refers to the Lord’s unending mercy, kindness, favor, and love toward us.

• His faithfulness endures. In an ever-changing world, the Lord is our anchor, and whatever He has promised, He will do.


• Would you characterize your worship and service to the Lord as joyful? Why or why not?

• If you were writing your own psalm of praise, how would you describe God? Which of His qualities or deeds inspire your gratitude?


Illustration by Jeff Gregory

Related Topics:  Worship

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1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.

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