Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name (Psalm 100:4).
The holiday calendar from November to the New Year resonates with joy. The psalmist unknowingly captures the temporal sequence of today’s calendar perfectly: Thanksgiving comes first and then Christmas. He reflects the sequence of worship by pilgrims to Jerusalem singing psalms of thanks to God for His provision and salvation. Entering the temple with thanks, their joy spilled over into praise. So does ours from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
While thanksgiving and praise during Advent may characterize the season, it can be more. We can develop the habit of giving thanks and praise to the Lord year-round. Every time God pours grace into our lives, He waits for a response. We acknowledge His great gift of a Savior at Christmas and Easter. Glory to God! But the joy of thanks and praise can be habits of the heart year-round in response to His year-round grace. We need only let the joy of the Lord spill over into our New Year resolutions with a commitment to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Thanks and glory be to God always!
Be joyful always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16
Dr. Jonathan Raymond is President Emeritus of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He and his wife, Irene, attend the Wilmore Free Methodist Church.