Why You Should Read Psalm 100 This Thanksgiving
- Jason Soroski Contributing Writer
- 2021 5 Nov
Thanksgiving has always been among my favorite days of the year. Even as a child, I remember the joy of getting up early to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, and then meeting with family to gather around the table for the most massive meal we would see all year. It was also one of the few times that we would all hold hands and ‘say grace’ before eating. After that was the tradition of Thanksgiving Day football featuring the Detroit Lions, who have played a game on each Thanksgiving Day since 1934. Like every other kid in America, I also was excited to have a couple of days out of school, during which I would gather up some friends to play a few games of street football. We were not the Detroit Lions, but we sure felt like we were.
Behind all of that was the story of the Pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving in 1621, celebrating the first harvest of their young colony in the New World, and their relationship with Squanto and the Wampanoag tribe. Thanksgiving was certainly not complete without thoughts and depictions of what that day must have been like. Of course, the Thanksgiving ended also meant the countdown to Christmas had begun! All of this went together to create a unique time of year, and it still does.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” - Psalm 100:4
A Day for Grateful Praise
All of these things created a time of joy and fond memories. Yet the most central element of Thanksgiving is far greater than any of that. It is simply the act of seeking out and giving thanks to God. One way for us to ensure that this most important part of the day doesn’t become lost in the cornucopia of other various Thanksgiving traditions is to spend time reading and meditating on Psalm 100, a short but beautiful Psalm of Thanksgiving:
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Shout for Joy!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” - Philippians 1:3-4
What a way to start off Thanksgiving! Shouting for joy is not something most of us regularly do. Unless we are in a crowd cheering on our favorite team (such as the Detroit Lions), shouting can feel a little awkward. Yet this is how the Psalm starts us off: shouting for joy in the Lord for all that He is and all that He has done. Verse 2 encourages us to worship Him with gladness and come before Him with joyful songs. I encourage you to do this! Even if you are not the singing type, put together a playlist of upbeat worship songs and let this be what fills your home this Thanksgiving. Starting off the celebration of thanks with songs of joy and prayers of praise is a perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was imprisoned for the gospel. Despite this, the letter is brimming over with joy and thanks, a true joy that comes not from circumstances but in knowing Christ as Savior. No matter our circumstances, as we celebrate this Thanksgiving may our eyes be fixed on Christ and the joy that comes from knowing him.
Know That the Lord is God and We Are His
We know that the Lord is God, but do we take time to consider what that really means? Does this knowledge affect our daily decisions? Verse 3 is a reminder to consider that we were made and crafted together by the only true God, who is the ruler, creator, and sustainer of all things. Every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17), and even the very breath we breathe is of His design and doing for our good. God is good beyond our understanding, and He has chosen us to be His people. He made us, inside and out, and we are His, each of us unique and treasured by Him. We give thanks to Him for allowing us to be “the sheep of His pasture” and to be led and nourished by Him.
Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving
How do you approach God? When we consider entering the presence of Almighty God, we may experience all kinds of emotions, including joy, fear, shame, or comfort. Yet this Psalm encourages us to approach Him with Thanksgiving and praise. Entering His courts with praise and thanksgiving is not only honoring to God, but it is beneficial to us as it sets our heart to be thankful. It is easy to look around at all we do not have, but we find joy and rest when we are thankful for the things we do have and praise our Creator for those gifts.
For the Lord Is Good
We give thanks and praise Him not just because “the Bible says so”, but because He is extremely good! Our praise and Thanksgiving are a testimony to those who do not know Him and an encouragement to those who do. We know His faithfulness extends throughout generations because we read of it going all the way back to Adam and Eve and we see it actively being lived out through our families and by so many around the world. God is certainly good and there is no limit to His deep love for us.
On this Thanksgiving, let us celebrate the blessings that we have been so freely given, and enter His gates with hearts of Thanksgiving, praise, and joy! Reading Psalm 100 is an excellent way to celebrate, and remind ourselves that Thanksgiving is more than just a day: it is a way of life that we can carry with us through the year.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AlexRaths
Jason Soroski is a homeschool dad and member of the worship team at matthias lot church in St. Charles, MO. He spends his free time hanging out with his family, exploring new places, and writing about the experiences. Connect on Facebook or at JasonSoroski.net.
This article is part of our larger Thanksgiving Resource Library. Learn about the first Thanksgiving, what Thanksgiving means in the Bible, how to get along with your family, and ways you can make this celebration more meaningful.
25 Bible Verses About Being Gratitude and the Power of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Bible Verses
Examples of Thanksgiving in the Bible
Thank You God! 10 Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving
How to "Give Thanks in All Things"
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