In a few days the football stadium that’s just a few miles from my office will be filled with the sound of applause for a group of young college students playing a game – and I am just as excited as anyone! But I wonder, “When was the last time I applauded God?”
The Message translation of Psalm 100 reads like this:
“On your feet now – applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. Know this: God is God, and God, God. He made us; we didn’t make him. We’re his people, his well-tended sheep. Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’ Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.”
I love how that translation of this psalm begins: “On your feet now – applaud God!”
Isn’t it amazing how we will go nuts over people playing a game that is of no consequence to the world at-large, yet we will seldom take the time to thank God and applaud him for his work in our lives and in this world that he created? He is the giver and sustainer of life, so why am I not thanking him for every day that I’m alive and for the things that bring life to my life?
This past Sunday in our worship service I saw some things for which I want to applaud God:
I saw blacks and whites hugging each other, participating in Communion together, and worshipping in unity.
I saw rich and poor, gay and straight, young and old, Democrat and Republican doing the same.
I saw a recovering alcoholic taking the lead in starting a new ministry for addicts and others who have beaten down by life.
I saw people who had grievances with one another forgiving each other.
I saw people praying for and with one another.
I saw sinners acknowledging their need for a Savior.
I saw a community where all lives matter, where the things that divide are dwarfed by the things that unite, where hope is fulfilled because Jesus is allowed to reign.
And for that, I rise to my feet and applaud God!
I say, “Thank you, God, for all that I saw because all that I saw is from you.”
So, what about you? What have you seen recently that makes you want to applaud God?
When was the last time you thanked God for specific blessings in your life?
Here’s what I want you to do after you read this blog: (1) Read Psalm 100 again; (2) Write down three specific things for which you are grateful; (3) Pray a prayer of thanksgiving and mention the things you wrote down; (4) Then stand on your feet, applaud God, and say out-loud, “Thank you, God!”
Remember, you can always choose gratitude.
Thanks for reading.