For He is Good

From Rev. Erik Buss, Assistant to the Pastor
November 26, 2019

If we pay attention, we all have a lot of things to be thankful for. The people that we love and who love us would be at the top of our lists, but there are many other things on the list: the powerful and healing truths of the Word; the basic safety of food, shelter and clothing; opportunities to make a difference in the world; people who help us when we are in need; technology that allows us to stay connected with people far away; new understanding about the way the mind and body works that allows us greater health and happiness; and the Pennypack Trail so close to Bryn Athyn where we can enjoy nature. The list goes on and on, and it is wonderful to notice and appreciate the gifts we have.
I’m reading through the Psalms in my devotional reading right now and it is striking that the most common phrase about thankfulness by far has nothing to do with what the Lord gives us. Nine times in the Psalms we are told to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” We don’t give thanks so much for what the Lord has done, but because of who He is. Several of the psalms begin by proclaiming that we should give thanks to the Lord because He is good, and then list all the things His goodness has led Him to do (Psalm 106, 107). But the focus is on who the Lord is—His goodness that impels Him to do good to us.
This is so comforting because the deepest blessing we can receive is to be in the presence of a God who is the essence of love, and because of this will always reach out to us. The common phrase goes like this: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy is forever.” We give thanks to the Lord because He is good. And because He is good we can know that He will always treat us with mercy, no matter what we do or what happens to us. His compassion will always lead Him to reach out to us and offer hope and healing.
So in addition to noticing our blessings this Thanksgiving and thanking the Lord for them, let us also stop to reflect on and give thanks to who He is: a god of love whose mercy is everlasting.


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