Of the 150 chapters in Psalms which one stands out to you the most? Most people would say Psalm 23 written by King David. When was this psalm written? Maybe during the time when his son Absalom was trying to take his kingdom (2 Samuel 15); or right after he found out his child was going to die because of his sins of murder and adultery (2 Samuel 12); or when he was fleeing from the presence of Saul who was trying to kill him (2 Samuel 19-27). We do not know for sure when David penned this psalm. What we do know is it was written during a time when David was going through a rough moment in his life. Even though he was afraid, he put his trust in God to comfort and deliver him from his enemies (Psalm 23:4). I particularly like what David says in verses 5-6:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23:5-6 (NKJV)
Pay close attention to the last part of verse 5. Notice that despite the rough moment he was currently experiencing in his life, David continued to be thankful to God. Despite his circumstances, he understood that he had been greatly blessed by God. If his life were a cup and his blessings were water, then water would be overflowing the cup!
Do we have a mentality like David? Whenever we begin to face a rough moment, do we complain to God or do we continue to be thankful for His blessings? When we are struggling…
- Do we continue to be thankful for the relationships that God gives us? Having a spouse, children, grandchildren, brother and sisters in Christ are all blessings from God (Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 127:3-5; Mark 10:29-30).
- Do we continue to be thankful for our food, clothes, and shelter (1 Timothy 6:8; Matthew 6:25-32)? Travel to some places like Zimbabwe and you will easily see that in America we have been blessed with great prosperity! We may have a faltering economy, but compared to most places, we are extremely rich! We have all of our needs and many of our wants.
- Do we thank God that we live in America? We live in a country where we can freely worship God without the threat of being thrown in jail or killed. The early Christians would have loved to be in our situation (Acts 4:1-3; 5:17-18; 8:1-3).
- Do we continue to be thankful for the Bible? Through the Bible we learn exactly what we must do to go to heaven to be with God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We learn about the love of God that has been expressed at the highest level through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Without the Bible we would be lost in the dark, but with the Bible we can find our way home to be with God (Psalm 119:105).
- Do we continue to be thankful for Jesus? No matter what we go through in life, Jesus addressed our greatest need when He died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8-11). We may struggle in this life, but thanks to Jesus we don’t have to be lost in hell if we completely surrender to His will (John 6:35-40; 14:6).
Do you see all we have to be thankful for? God has blessed us richly! Instead of complaining and griping when we get down, we need to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God (Colossians 4:2). It is easy to go through life taking for granted the blessings of God. But when we take a step back and look at the big picture of life, we can easily see that, like David, our cups also run over!
– Shawn Jeffries