"A true heart of thanksgiving and praise will instinctively, 'STAND' with an insatiable desire to take action."
In I Chronicles 23:30, David exhorts us to, "Stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise, in the evening."
Often we think of thanksgiving and praise as lip service; lyrics in a worship song or words on a thank-you note. But, the kind of thanksgiving being described here is not passive feelings of appreciation. Rather, it is an active and energetic response to God’s goodness; "STAND" David says, to thank and praise the Lord!
Standing is the way we naturally respond when we are genuinely moved by something. At the end of an emotional performance we stand. When our team scores the winning goal, we stand. When we want to express honor or respect, we stand. When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was being stoned, Scripture says that he saw Jesus "standing at the right hand of the Father." When a person is truly moved, he cannot sit quietly and nod in stoic affirmation, but rather he will be compelled to demonstrate his gratitude through action.
Someone told me, "I don’t have a burden for any particular nation." In their minds this disqualified (or excused) them from evangelism and missions. But, when we consider the price that Jesus paid for us, how can we just sit back quietly contemplating our good fortune. A true heart of thanksgiving and praise will instinctively, "STAND" with an insatiable desire to take action. "Freely you have received" Jesus said, "Freely give."
Notice that David specifically says that we should "STAND" to give thanks at two strategic times: at the start and finish of the day. While thanksgiving and praise are always appropriate attitudes of the heart, there is something special about the beginning and ending; be it of a day, a year or any season of life.
Right now we are in one of those strategic moments as one year is drawing to a close and another year is just beginning. Looking back we have so much to be thankful for, and the grateful heart will be moved to stand in thanksgiving and praise to the One Who has been our Provider, Sustainer, Preserver, Helper, and Comforter. Why don't you take a moment to pause and reflect on God's goodness to you throughout the past year?
In the "evening" we look backwards, thanking God because of what He HAS DONE, but in the "morning" we look forward, thanking Him because of what He WILL DO! When we thank the Lord in the morning, it is an expression of faith. We know that the same God who helped us yesterday will also help us today and in that confident assurance we "STAND."
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." As you look ahead to the coming year I want to encourage you to thank and praise the Lord in advance for what He is about to do in your life, your family, your ministry, and to express that praise with your actions rather than just your words. The Children of Israel practiced this preemptive praise through the offering of "First Fruits." They brought an offering to God, thanking Him in advance for the full harvest that they were about to receive.