Paul instructs us to “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). True for all circumstances. However, intentional effort is required in some circumstances. Here in Psalm 9 we are encouraged to give thanks with our whole heart. Nothing held back. No corners hidden or left out. Whole-heart gratitude.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2
It’s become a discipline for me to recount his wonderful deeds. Considering his wonderful deeds done by blessing me in my marriage is enough. But zoom out and consider all the wonderful deeds he has done throughout time. I am compelled to be glad and sing of my gratitude to him in praise. Whole-heart gratitude.
“But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.” Psalm 9:7-8
Recounting his goodness in my lifetime and before my lifetime delivers faith-filled trust to my heart. He is good, and he is unshakeable. Trustworthy. Certain. Immovable. Unchanging. Enthroned forever. He is a just judge who rules with righteousness. He is upright. Even when wrong surrounds me, he is unassailable in his purity. His judgments are sure and good.
“The Lord is…a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:9-10
Do you know this just God’s name? It’s a fair question. Too many of us know the name of a god of our own design. If we read the Bible, we read it with a filter of our own making. We allow our circumstances, feelings, and preferences to filter truth for the sake of palatability. But those who know his name have the confidence to put their faith and trust in him. Our God, our stronghold, does not forsake those who seek to know him in sincerity.
“Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds!” Psalm 9:11
Praise is the normal response after coming face-to-face with the enthroned Lord. If you are recounting his good deeds and rehearsing his righteousness, you will be enthused to worship him by lifting your voice to sing praise to him.
“Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes…” John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer
“Praise him! Praise him! Tell of his excellent greatness! Praise him! Praise him! Ever in joyful song!” Fanny Crosby, “Praise Him! Praise Him!”
Proclamation of his praiseworthy deeds is a normal response to the circumstances in your life. You will be compelled to tell of his deeds among all peoples. John Piper writes, “Worship…is…the fuel of missions.” If he is enthroned in your heart, you are ignited to proclaim his deeds.
“He bids us make his glories known, the works of pow’r and grace, that we convey his wonders down through ev’ry rising race.” Isaac Watts, “He Bids Us Make His Glories Known”
Recount his graciousness and deeds done for us. Rejoice in his salvation proffered to us. He is righteous, upright in all his ways.
“Be gracious to me, O Lord! …that I may recount all your praises…I may rejoice in your salvation.” Psalm 9:13-14