How Gratitude Grows

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”—Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

Each of the psalms has a sort of “personality” about them. Some psalms take on a tone of desperation amidst life’s trials. Others are flavored with a prophetic perspective by looking ahead to the coming of Christ. Still others are defined by a prevailing sense of God’s faithfulness despite our past failures.

The personality of Psalm 100 is one of celebration and praise towards God. It’s a way of releasing the joy that has been stored up in our hearts for who the Lord is and all that He’s done. A life under God’s loving ownership will be blessed, and the great gladness that comes as a result of that needs an outlet—Psalm 100 is such an outlet!

Outlets like this are important. The fact that we have a psalm so dedicated reminds us of this. But in addition, life also teaches us that if we don’t take deliberate steps to make time for something important, it will quickly get covered up by the unending cares of life. We need to schedule our celebration of Who God is and to express this joy.

It seems more than appropriate at a time like this, as a year filled with many difficulties is winding down, that we stop and give God His due in this regard. So before reading any further, press pause and give voice to Who the Lord is and all that He has been to you this past year.

Do you know that happens next? It’s given to us here in the above verse. As we take the time to celebrate God, it naturally leads us to the place of thanksgiving. You see, we can’t behold the beauty of God and its influence on our lives without responding to it . . . and that response is gratitude.

Know this: The more we stop and celebrate God, the more thankful we become. By looking back at Him, we receive the best possible outlook going forward. This is a spiritual law that can never be broken, and one that we would all do well to abide by.

Each of us has experienced our own unique share of challenges, pains, disappointments, and even losses this past year. But our souls can’t dwell there. What are we to do? We need to dwell on Who God is, because that never changes and is always worthy of our celebration. And as we do so, we’ll find a gratitude that defies our circumstances welling up to strengthen and sustain us for whatever lies ahead.

PAUSE: What’s the “personality” of Psalm 100? Why is it important to stop and celebrate who God is?

PRACTICE: Schedule time and space to celebrate God and measure the growth of your gratitude.

PRAY: Lord, I thank You and praise You for who You are and all You do. I thank You for the work You have done, are doing, and will continue to do to transform me deeper and deeper into the image of You Son Jesus. I thank You and praise You for the triumphs, trials, and even the tragedies of the past year, because I know that in all things You are working and weaving redemption for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your good purposes. Amen.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.