“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will GIVE THANKS unto thee for ever.” ~ Psalm 30:11-12
Our text reveals two very important truths.
FIRST, the only correct response to God’s blessings is PRAISE and THANKSGIVING. Earlier in the Psalm, the psalmist (David) tells us that when God had blessed him previously, he had become haughty, confident in his own ability to sustain himself:
“And in my prosperity I said, ‘I shall never be moved’.” ~ Psalm 30:6
Then, when God “hid His face”, the psalmist was troubled (v.7) and in trouble (vv. 8-10): apparently, he was about to die.
Then, God saved him.
We are not given the details in the psalm. But, it is clear that the psalmist learned his lesson. Instead of responding to God’s blessings with pride, he declares “my glory may sing praise to thee” and “I will GIVE THANKS unto thee for ever.”
It is easy for us to think that the good things in our life come from our own efforts.
“I have a Ph.D. because I studied harder than…”
Do we realize that both the aptitude and the opportunity for study come from God? There are smarter students who never got the opportunities we did.
“I am wealthy because I worked harder than…”
Do we realize that both the strength and the opportunity for work come from God? There are harder workers who never got the opportunities we did.
When God blesses us, let us not praise ourselves or our strengths/abilities. Instead, let us PRAISE and GIVE THANKS to Him.
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” ~ Psalm 115:1
“…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” ~ 1 Peter 5:5b
The SECOND truth revealed in our text is the importance of giving thanks regardless of our circumstances. To see this, let us note the tenses used in the verses:
The phrases: “hast turned”, “hast put off” and “[hast] girded” are all present perfect tense, which is used to “say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now”. Therefore, it was at some earlier time in the psalmist’s life that God had blessed him.
Therefore, the psalmist is saying: “God has blessed me in the past and for that I will GIVE THANKS to him forever.” Notice that the psalmist places no obligation on God to bless him in the present or in the future. The psalmist had experienced God’s blessing and so he will GIVE THANKS regardless of how things work out going forward.
Has God blessed you in the past? If He has, then you have enough reason for a lifetime of THANKSGIVING.