Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns, including “Praise Him, Praise Him” and “To God be the Glory.”
Before he was 20, Charles Spurgeon had preached over 600 times. He read 6 books per week and could recall what he had read and locate it, even years later. He started a pastors’ college that trained nearly 900 students during his lifetime. He is estimated to have preached to 10,000,000 people (The Reformed Reader). He answered 500 letters a week.
John Wesley rose at 4 a.m., traveled constantly, usually on horseback, formed societies, commissioned preachers, oversaw charities, and even wrote hymns, including “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.”
Did these folks ever cut their grass? Did they ever have to clean their gutters? And really – 500 letters a week! I can barely keep up with a few emails each day. And I don’t even want to talk about guys like John Piper, who has probably written 3 books in the time it’s taken me to do this post.
Fortunately, we don’t have to be giants of the faith to glorify God. It’s pretty simple actually.
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me (PS 50.23).
What could be easier? We can glorify God by giving thanks. But how does gratefulness honor the Lord?
Thankfulness shows we appreciate God’s costly mercy in saving us.
We were blind and dead in our sins, under God’s wrath, slaves of sin and Satan, without hope or God, and unable to save ourselves, when Jesus came down, suffered brutal torture, holy wrath and death to rescue us and bring us to God. How can we not be thankful?
If for no other reason other than the fact that he saved us, we should overflow with gratitude all the days of our lives. Even if God never gave us another blessing in this life, we should be eternally thankful.
Thankfulness shows we appreciate God’s abundant goodness and generosity.
By thanking God, we acknowledge that all we have comes from him, that he is the giver of every good gift. That he is a generous God. That Christ is our fountain of blessings, spiritual and material.
Thankfulness shows what a wonderful Master we serve.
Our local hospital is consistently voted one of the best places to work in PA, a reflection of the CEO and President, who is a Christian. The cheerful service of the folks at Indiana Regional Medical Center shows what a great boss they have.
When unbelievers see sour, dour, down-in-the-mouth Christians, they must wonder what kind of Master they have who makes their lives so miserable. Believers should be the most thankful, cheerful people on earth, so that everyone can see what a wonderful Master we serve.
Even when we suffer painful trials we can thank Jesus for his death, love and mercy, and that our sovereign Savior will ultimately bring glory and good from our trials.
Here is a tiny habit that has brought a lot of joy into my life: Almost every morning, after spending a little time in God’s word, I take about 10 minutes and write things I’m thankful for in a moleskin journal. I write them as a prayer to Jesus. I might thank him for saving me or for his steadfast love, or I might thank him for helping me in a meeting the day before or letting me spend time with my granddaughter. Or I might thank Jesus for things as mundane as indoor plumbing or heat in my house. I limit myself to the front of one page. I don’t try to be profound. I don’t worry if I repeat myself from previous entries. I just want to cultivate the habit of thankfulness in my life.
Our lives are shaped by small habits, and one of the best ones I can recommend is giving thanks to God as much as you can. You will glorify Jesus and increase your joy.