Songs of Gratitude


Colossians 3:16
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Do you sing around the house as you do mindless tasks? Some people sing or hum as they fold towels, sweep the floor, or set the table. There is a peace around those people.

However if someone is distracted from a contented peace by hatred or greed, they usually don’t sing. I hear others singing a light-hearted song more often than I hear them singing the theme from Jaws. A contented person sings peacefully.

If you like singing around the house, then it makes sense to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things,” as it says in Colossians 3:2. It is so much easier to have that contented peace if your mind is set on heavenly things. When we get bogged down in the depressing details of earthly things, it’s harder to focus on helping others. That’s when we lean towards selfishness, rather than selflessness.

Setting our minds on heavenly things is a choice we make. If we make that choice often enough, it could become a good habit. Like making your bed first thing in the morning, it becomes easier and comes more naturally with time. At first, you may have to set up reminders for yourself to help you continue in those positive decisions.

If there is more time spent encouraging others, there is more peace to enjoy. The more peace, the more opportunity for the music of gratitude in our lives.

Thanks for seeking God with me.

Songs of Joy



Psalm 126:2

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

I remember singing “Bringing in the Sheaves” when I was growing up in church. I found out that sheaves were the cut and bound grains that were brought in from the field at harvest time. Several of my great-grandparents were farmers. They knew all about waiting for the harvest, wondering if all their hard work would pay off. Psalm 126 tells the story of farmers rejoicing at harvest time.

People who work in fields of grain (farmers) feel joy when their crop comes in and gives them a good payoff. All during the growing season, they had to protect their crop from its natural enemies: bad weather, drought, insects, disease.

Likewise, people who work in fields of spiritual rebirth (pastors, missionaries, Christians world-wide) feel joy when they see the harvest from the seeds they’ve sown. They’ve prayed over their seeds that God would protect their growing season and allow a good harvest. When they see the person who had been captive to sin making the decision to hold onto God’s hand and trust him for their rescue, they are filled with more joy than the farmers experience.

Songs of joy are a natural response when a period of waiting is followed by good news. How many times have you heard a loud “Hallelujah!” as if someone was at a Handel’s Messiah sing-a-long, only to discover that the person had just received good news?

We train our children to say “Thank you” when someone does something good for them. Singing a song of thanksgiving to God is so easy. He’s always listening.

Songs From the Heart



Psalm 18:1

[ For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: ] I love you, Lord, my strength.

David knew early in his boyhood that God was there for him, to help him, to protect him. When he found out he could call on God for help, he tried it out. The relationship had to begin somewhere. And from that starting point, it developed into a safe place where he could hide when trouble came. He wrote about it in Psalm 32:7. 

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 The Psalms are a grouping of songs to God simply used to praise him or sometimes used to teach God’s people. These songs were sung after battles were won and when the singer was convicted of sin and at other times. If I were going to write a song to God, I’d have to start it the way David started what we call Psalm 18, “I love you, Lord.”  

One doesn’t usually sing passionately to a stranger. God and David had a relationship that was intimate. David trusted God and allowed God to see and hear him down to the depths of his soul. Why is it hard for many of today’s Christians to share that kind of intimacy with God?

Knowing and trusting God the way David did gave him a confidence from which he sang. David knew his prayers were being heard when he sang, so he sang with passionate words. He knew God’s hand was ready to catch him when he fell, so he ran to God to ask for forgiveness in song.  Singing to God was not a religious act and not a duty. David’s songs held emotion. With David, there was no holding back.

That kind of relationship is where David found his strength. And why he wrote songs about it.

Can you feel David’s passion for God when you read his songs? I can. Thanks for seeking God with me.