Hello friends! It is two days before Thanksgiving, and I can imagine that you are making preparations for this special day that we set aside to offer God thanks for his many blessings. As you make your preparations and plans for the food and other activities, have you prepared your heart as well?
Why don’t you take some time now to prepare your heart by reading this devotional? To begin, open your Bibles to Psalm 57, or find it on your electronic device. Read through it from start to finish.
In this Psalm there is a very clear progression that shows how thankfulness is the result of recognizing God’s faithfulness.
#1) The longer you walk with God, the more you recognize His faithfulness – verses 1-3
David’s life could easily be a guide book on recognizing God’s faithfulness. Look at the heading under Psalm 57. It says, “A record of memorable thoughts of David when he fled from Saul in the cave.” This Psalm was written during the time when Saul was pursuing David in order to take his life. This was not the first time David found himself in danger. Scripture tells us that David killed both a bear and a lion when he was a young shepherd. Because God always rescued David, he recognized God’s faithfulness. In fact, listen to what David says when He was about to go up against the giant Goliath, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Sam 17:37
Because David had walked with God since he was young, he had occasion after occasion to see and experience God’s faithfulness. Because God had delivered him before, He was confident that He would see God’s faithfulness again, that’s why he says he will take refuge in God until the disaster has passed. Ps 57:1.
#2) The more you recognize God’s faithfulness, the quicker you are to trust Him – verses 4-6
In verses 4-6, David cries out to God and shares the truth of the situation he is experiencing. I think this is a good place to point out that when you trust God, that doesn’t mean you bury your head in the sand about what is happening in your life. Trusting God, means crying out to him about what is happening and being confident that He is over all of your circumstances. Look at what David says in verse 5. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” In verse 4 he says what is happening, but in the very next verse he is trusting that God will be exalted in His life, despite the current situation he finds himself in. That is some pretty quick trust. Trust was engrained into the very fabric of David’s life. In fact, he was so confident that look what he says in verse 6. He confidently anticipates deliverance, and that his enemies would fall into the pit they made for him. That’s pretty audacious trust, but it came from experiencing God’s faithfulness time after time in the past.
#3) The quicker you are to trust Him, the more at peace your heart is – verse 7a
Because he knew God was faithful, David was a quick truster. And trust always, always, always leads to peace. Look at the first part of verse 7. It says, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.” David’s heart is steadfast, (secure or at peace). David had no fear in the face of opposition, or attack. His heart was at peace, because he was quick to trust God. Peace is not the absence of storms, but a steady calm in the middle of them.
#4) The more at peace your heart is, the more your mouth will overflow with thanksgiving – verses 7b-11
When there is peace in your heart, the natural result is your mouth will overflow with thanksgiving. David’s steadfast heart turned into a song of praise from his lips. Read verses 7-9.
But, not only does God hear David’s thanksgiving, verse 9 says that the nations and the peoples will hear his song of praise. His thanksgiving flows to others which then begin the process in them as they recognize God’s faithfulness to David and start to believe that God will be faithful to them as well.
So, how can this apply to us today as we prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving? Let’s look at each point again and make some personal application.
#1) The longer you walk with God, the more you recognize His faithfulness.
The promise from Psalm 57:3b is that God sends us His love and His faithfulness. What a wonderful promise! Do you believe it? Are you recognizing God’s faithfulness? Are you confident of God’s love and faithfulness no matter what circumstances you find yourself in?
#2) The more you recognize God’s faithfulness, the quicker you are to trust Him.
How quickly do you trust God?
Measure your quickness to trust on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being no trust and 10 being 100% trust.
What would it take for you to be an audacious truster, just like David was?
#3) The quicker you are to trust Him, the more at peace your heart is.
Listen to the following antonyms for peace. Count how many of these words that describe how you’ve felt lately: upset, worry, frustration, impatience, unrest, striving, fear, chaos.
Listen to the following synonyms for peace. Count how many of these words that describe how you’ve felt lately: calm, unruffled, patience, rest, unity, order, peace of mind, quietness
Let’s compare each one. Which do you have more of, antonyms or synonyms? Since peace is always a result of trust, what does your number say about your level of trust?
Believe it or not, peace is possible in the middle of chaos. Colossians 3:15 says, “May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace and be thankful.” Rule means to act as umpire. How many know that in all sports, the umpire has the final say. Christ’s peace acts as umpire in every situation you encounter. Ask God to help you let His peace rule in your life. Then when any other feeling or emotion come your way, tell it that it must bend the knee to the peace of Christ!
#4) The more at peace your heart is, the more your mouth will overflow with thanksgiving.
A mouth of thanksgiving is the natural result of a peaceful heart. But what do you do when your heart does not feel peaceful? Fake it until it is. I have a go-to song that I sing when I am feeling anything but peaceful or trusting or grateful – “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. It may take me singing it 10 times, but it always works to change my heart and get my focus back on God’s faithfulness. What is your go-to song or Bible verse that you can use to change your perspective?
I love the way this Psalm ends. Look at verses 10-11 again. God’s love and faithfulness never end. You can never run out of it. That is something to be grateful for NO. MATTER. WHAT!!
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your love and faithfulness. Help me to recognize your faithfulness in every situation of my life. May your faithfulness lead me to trust you quickly and completely, because this brings peace to my heart. In areas where I feel anything but peace, may I choose peace and may I let it rule in my heart. As I do, thanksgiving will flow from my mouth. May my heart be prepared to praise you and give you thanks today and every day. In Jesus’ Name and for His sake, amen.
Your Friend in Ministry,