The phrase “Give thanks to the Lord” appears 22 times in the Old Testament. Even though it is not a commandment in the “Big 10” sense, there can be no denying that God intends his people to have thankful hearts.
So many times I go through my life with the Lord asking of Him and asking of Him again. How rarely I stop and give thanks! What’s worse is I normally don’t even think I have made God my spiritual genie in a bottle. I pray for serious stuff- that this person or that person would start to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, that He would bless a particular ministry event, or protect my family, or help me resist temptation to sin- all good and important stuff, indeed. (And ok, if you must know, occasionally some frivolous things, too.) But I am still asking something of Him. I do stop to thank Him when what I have prayed for happens. Yet that is like speaking your appreciation to your earthly father for a gift he has given vs. hugging him and telling him you love him- just because. (Personal note: Hi Dad! I do love you, and thanks for all your love and support.)
When I stop to say thanks to God and tell Him I love him, then my eyes are off myself and the cares of the world. I focus on who He is, how good He is, and bless Him for what He has done. When I seriously consider these things, my heart is overwhelmed with love and gratitude and joy. Suddenly, all my worries and concerns fall into their proper place - all is well with my soul.
Song of Songs paints a beautiful picture of the Lover (Jesus) pursuing His Beloved (Us!). The heart of the Living God longs for us- and He is blessed when we speak of our love, thanks, and adoration for Him. Isn’t that the very least of what He deserves?