Song Story: Thank You
Psalm 9, James 1
This song is so near and dear to my own walk with Jesus. I have often found the feeling of discontentment, restlessness, and a sense of something ‘always missing’ to be a common theme in my life. One of the things I’ve been asking God for over the last few years is for a heart of gratitude. One that looks around, and looks at what is in my hands, and glorifies the Giver—both for the gifts and for Himself. I really think gratitude is one major diagnostic of a healthy God-ward heart. Practicing gratitude, and specifically gratitude directed to God, has been a key component to my journey as a disciple of Jesus.
So I’ve been asking God for some years to help me find the words to sing ‘Thank You’. He’s pointed me to verses like:
James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Acts 17:25 - nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
We come to see that our thanksgiving could not be possible were it not for God’s empowerment to grant us the very ability to worship Him. So we thank Him for His power recognizing that it is His power that gives us that very breath with which we thank Him.
Colossians 1:15-17 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
And we know that giving thanks gives glory to God, as Paul reminds us:
2 Corinthians 4:15 - For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
There was a season when our son benefitted from seeing an occupational therapist. After one of his sessions, I asked him to tell his therapist “Thank you.” His therapist, who is wonderful, took me aside and suggested that we let his gratitude arise from his own feelings rather than making it a requirement from our children. I certainly want gratitude to be a regular feeling for our children rather than a sense of duty. But here is the truth: there are times and situations when, because of or in spite of my circumstances, I simply don’t feel very grateful.
Gratitude as an attitude—at least for me—isn’t easy to maintain. I often envision that sense of gratitude arising from some feeling. And sometimes it does! But what are we to say when gratitude isn’t near to our hearts? What do we do when we don’t feel it? Scotty Smith, a pastor, prayed: “Heavenly Father, I've come to realize that gratitude is a discipline before it's a feeling. Indeed, the best way to wage war against whining and murmuring is to remember and rehearse the opulent riches you've given us in Christ, and the many good things you've given us as a loving Father.”
I remember a pastor at a church I grew up in saying, “Always start your prayers with giving thanks. By the time you’re done, you might forget your complaints!” Can you imagine how our posture would change as believers if one of our dominant character traits and key practices was that of expressing gratitude? Imagine how our not only our heart would change, but our faith would grow, our hope would orient toward Jesus, our countenance would lift, and our everyday would seem somehow lighter no matter the circumstance because our prayer would be “in the hurt, be glorified!” How would your life and the lives of those around you look different by simply and regularly telling God, “Thank you”?
So we’ve written this song to simply say Thank You. Listen, sing along, and worship Jesus as you give thanks!
Lord, we breathe
With the breath that You provide.
Lord, we come
Knowing You sustain our lives.
Lord, our hands
Are filled with nothing that we own.
Lord, in us
You made soft the heart of stone.
Lord, our days
Are guided by Your sovereign plan.
Lord, our wounds
Are not beyond Your healing hand.
Lord, You hear
Every sorrow, every groan.
Lord, our hope
Is in You and You alone.
Thank You, God
For the grace that You have shown us;
Every good and perfect gift comes from You.
Thank You, God
For the mercy You’ve shown to us;
We were dead in sin, You gave us Life in You.
For the cross, we thank You.
For New Life, we thank You.
For New Hope, we thank You, God.
For Your Word, we thank You.
For Your Church, we thank You.
For our call, we thank You, God.
For Your blood, we thank You.
For the good, we thank You.
For the hurt, would You be glorified.
For Your goodness, for Your kindness,
For Your everlasting love, we thank You, God.