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Joyful Thanksgiving

Psalm 96 calls us to “Sing to the Lord” (Ps.96:1a). Regardless of our present pains or disappointments, the Bible assumes that if we are recipients of his grace and mercy, we have a lot to sing about. And the focus should not only be historical (i.e. what God did for us in years past), but our attention should also be on God’s merciful involvement which is observed to be “new every morning” (Lam.3:23). That is why the psalmist calls us to sing to him “a new song” (Ps.96:1b). The “newness” in view is not the modernity of the melody (necessarily), but it clearly has to do with the recent awareness of God’s “marvelous deeds” and manifestations of his “glory” among his people and in our lives (Ps.96:3). We could consume all of our time and attention focusing on the difficulties of the Christian life, but the Bible says that would be a mistake. Because God “is great” and “most worthy of praise” (Ps.96:4), there are many good and awesome things of which we should take note, and then, in obedience to God’s word, we must turn our hearts and our voices to him in joyful song. Psalm 96 ends as we might expect, looking forward to the day when God makes everything right (Ps.96:13), but in the meantime we should never fail to find the “right” that he is doing right now and celebrate it with glad and sincere hearts.

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