Why thankfulness and praise are at the heart of a healthy faith

Luke 17:11-19, Psalm 146

Giving thanks and praise to God for His many and signal blessings has been central to corporate Christian worship since the beginning. In fact, its fair to say that they almost define orthodox worship. And personally, when we pray over a meal, we express the same ideal of thanksgiving to the Almighty. When we say a prayer before bedtime, we enter into that same spirit. Yet if we pause and put our finger on the pulse of our thoughts, and especially the attitude of our hearts, at times we may find the tender affections and gratitude that we once had toward God dulled by worries or replaced by routine and perfunctory phrases that we casually throw heavenward when our hands are folded in prayer. We may find that the plans and intentions of our lives have become presumptuous of God’s kindness and goodness to us, and our attentions largely riveted on our difficulties and a bit of resentment or bitterness creeping in. This is not healthy for us, nor does it reflect the sincerity and purity the Lord desires for us in worship. We find ourselves in need of a fresh word of encouragement and the light of spiritual illumination from the Lord of Life, the good God of all Providence, and the One who has especial love for His blood-bought saints.