“With grateful heart my thanks I bring, before the great your praise I sing;
I worship in your holy place and praise you for your truth and grace;
for truth and grace together shine in your most holy word divine,
in your most holy word divine.” – Psalm 138B, Trinity Psalter Hymnal
These words are the first verse in a great psalm that we sing often in Worship together on the Lord’s Day. They proclaim a sincerely thankful heart, one filled with praise to God considering His goodness to the faithful. We praise God for many things. We thank Him for His love and mercy to us, among many other things. We praise God for the salvation He has accomplished for us as the psalmist did in Psalm 95. Indeed, He is the rock of our salvation!
Psalm 95:1-3 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.”
Consider these words carefully. God’s people come into His presence with thanksgiving because spiritual joy and delight are fueling the heart and soul of our praise! We praise Him with joy and thankfulness as those who are ourselves much affected by His greatness and goodness. He is the great King above all gods! As such, we also respond to His call and must praise God in concert together in the assembly. This is a pleasure and great privilege to do as Christ’s church!
The psalmist in Psalm 111 speaks to this, especially in verses 1-3, when he says, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.”
See his commitment to wholehearted praise in both private worship, as well as in the midst of the corporate worship of the body. Notice, his praise considers the great works of God that are studied by God’s people. Think about this- Wholehearted praise comes from an informed heart and mind that know what He has done, that grow in knowing more of the greatness of His works through study, which in turn deepens and strengthens the disciple’s joyful praise. Beautiful, isn’t it?
May you and I be good students of the same, and in the same way, Beloved. Praise the Lord with wholehearted thankfulness for His greatness, goodness, holiness, and righteous justice. Praise Him for the amazing saving grace that He has given you in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Give thanks for His mercies, loving kindness, and faithfulness abundantly seen in His sustaining grace in your life, and His good providence through thick and thin to you and your family. You indeed have been and are the recipient of many rich blessings from the hand of the living God!