Day 5

Worship Through Gratitude

1 Chronicles 16:4-36, Ezra 3:10-11, Psalm 136:1-26

BY Melanie Rainer

In college, I was part of a university ministry that had been led in faithfulness by the same pastor for many years, and he still leads it to this day: a picture of steadfast commitment and fruit-bearing that can only come from a long obedience in the same direction (to borrow a book title from the late Eugene Peterson).

Three years ago, we gathered with alumni and supporters to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this faithful, beloved ministry. We took turns sharing memories and singing hymns, but the wind that blew through the whole evening was one of corporate gratitude: together, thanking God for His indescribable gift, we worshiped in song and story, in thanksgiving and praise. We thanked God for what He had done, and what we knew He would continue to do.

Each of today’s passages from Scripture highlights corporate gratitude expressed in worship. In 1 Chronicles 16, David institutes the daily practice of thanksgiving, commissioning Asaph to lead the community in worship. David decrees his song of thanks in verses 8–36, which is then reflected in parts of Psalms 96, 105, and 106.

The structure of David’s song matches the content of Psalm 136 incredibly closely, and there’s a lot to be gleaned from what David thanks the Lord for and in what order.

In Psalm 136, we see the creation story unfold with a refrain about God’s everlasting love: He made the heavens, He spread the land on the water, He hung the sun and the moon and dotted the stars. Then we read, with the same call-and-response pattern, how He saved the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, struck down evil kings to protect His people, and gave them a homeland. The same themes leap off the page in 1 Chronicles 16, and they are cues we can take into our daily practice of worship and gratitude.

It’s interesting to me in that 1 Chronicles 16, David doesn’t specifically thank God for what had just happened: the bringing of the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. They worshipped at the ark, where God dwelled, but their gratitude was cosmic in scale. It was not, “Thank You for what You did today, for this one specific thing we have to celebrate.” It was, and perhaps should usually be, “Thank You for who You have always been, for how You have loved Your people since the beginning of time.”

In corporate worship, in private prayer, in the smallest moments, and the most earth-shattering ones, we always have reason to thank God for what He has done and what we know He will do. Whether or not we feel grateful or not, whether or not we feel worshipful, there is always reason to worship in gratitude: because His faithful love endures forever.

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25 thoughts on "Worship Through Gratitude"

  1. ILIANA CANALS says:

    DAY 5: Praising God through worship is showing God how much we love him and our thankful for the things he has done in our lives. We need to show thankfulness more because our God never leaves us, always loved us and forever forgiving us. Isn’t that worth praising alone!✝️

  2. Bri Tieperman says:

    No matter the situation or what is going on in the world, we always have a reason to thank God for what he has done & what he will do ♡
    His faithful love endures forever! His love for us is ETERNAL! Amen!

  3. Keva Richardson says:

    For the past year, I have been consulting independently while I look for permanent employment and it’s been tough. I have performance anxiety which effects my self confidence and ability to cope with work.

    I know that anxiety is the evil one trying to keep me from resting in God’s protection. I understand that theres nothing that can separate us from his love and he will conquer my fear and anxiety. This morning I want to praise and thank God for his commitment to me. I’m thankful that during these challenging times, I can take the time to relearn how to trust and rest in his love.

  4. Avis DeniseGraves says:

    I am grateful, having finished my second residency, acknowledging that His mercies endure forever, and His grace covers continually.

  5. Michelle Turner says:

    This morning I woke up with some regrets from the past and I’m stuck on how they’re affecting my present and future. It’s easy to not believe that God’s love endured forever during my mistakes, or even during my current regret. But even when his chosen people rejected him, even when they wandered, even when they forgot who he was, God’s love remained steadfast. Pray for me that this truth would sink into my heart.

  6. Bobcat Cole says:

    I have been struggling with anger lately and asking God to be with me in those moments. I was upset, praying, and journaling today. before I knew it my words shifted from frustration to words of praise and the reminders that our God is powerful and works all things together for his good.
    His faithful love endures forever.

    1. Abbie Darst says:


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