Showing Our Appreciation to God
We thank you, Jehovah, each day and each night,
That you shed upon us your precious light!
We thank you that we have the priv’lege of pray’r,
That we can approach you with ev’ry care!
We thank you, Jehovah, for your faithful Son,
Who o’er death and Hades the vict’ry won!
We thank you for guidance in doing your will,
For thus you do help us our vows fulfill!
We thank you, Jehovah, for our brotherhood,
Where we find companions both true and good!
We thank you for giving us your active force,
Your spirit, which aids us to hold our course!
We thank you, our God, for the honor to preach
About your great name and the truth to teach!
We thank you that soon all earth’s woes will be past,
While your Kingdom blessings forever last!
THESE are the words of the song “We Thank You, Jehovah!” They appear in the publication “Singing and Accompanying Yourselves with Music in Your Hearts,” a songbook used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. This song gives evidence of their desire to express appreciation to God, and this harmonizes with the Scriptural encouragement to ‘sing with music in our hearts to Jehovah,’ thus “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks always for all things to our God and Father.” (Ephesians 5:18-20) But what are some reasons to give thanks, to show appreciation, to Jehovah God?
Why Show God Our Appreciation?
Life itself is a gift from God for which to be thankful. In fact, Jehovah provides all things good and beneficial. (Acts 17:24, 25) Among such good things mentioned in the song just quoted are these: precious spiritual light (Psalm 43:3; John 17:3); the privilege of prayer (Proverbs 15:8); the sin-atoning sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:1, 2); Scriptural guidance in doing the divine will (Psalm 40:8; 119:9-16, 105); the loving Christian brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17); God’s guiding holy spirit, or active force (Psalm 143:10); and the eternal kingdom blessings that will replace earth’s woes. (Matthew 6:9, 10; Revelation 11:15-18; 12:9-12) These are among the things for which Jehovah’s Witnesses give God thanks when singing in congregational assembly.
There are so many reasons to show God our appreciation. Why, think about awakening on a beautiful morning! The sun is shining brightly, you hear the birds singing, and you smell the sweet fragrance of flowers or newly mowed hay. Thrilled, you say: “It’s great to be alive!” Yet, how appropriate to express your appreciation to the One who made all of this possible!
God has, indeed, made many provisions for mankind’s benefit and pleasure. Consider the sun, moon and stars that give us light. There is air to breathe and plant life to purify it. Jehovah has provided food and water in abundance. And think of all the bird and animal life that makes a trip through the countryside so enjoyable. (Job 37:5-16; Psalm 8:3-9; Acts 14:15-17) Moreover, God has given us the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell that enable us to enjoy these provisions to the full. How grateful we should be!
Of much greater importance to dedicated Christians are Jehovah’s spiritual provisions. A number of them are mentioned in the song quoted at the outset. Surely it is proper to be grateful to God for such spiritual blessings.
It is also good to meditate regularly on all of Jehovah God’s abundant provisions, spiritual and material. Doubtless such meditation will move us to do something. Very likely it will prompt us to show God our appreciation by expressing it in words and actions.—Psalm 1:1-3; 77:11, 12.
Appreciative Words and Deeds
Sincere prayer is one obvious way to express our appreciation to the Giver of “every good gift and every perfect present.” (James 1:17) So, do we thank God regularly in words of prayer? We might well be moved to do so as did the psalmist David, who declared: “Many things you yourself have done, O Jehovah my God, even your wonderful works and your thoughts toward us; there is none to be compared to you. Were I inclined to tell and speak of them, they have become more numerous than I can recount.”—Psalm 40:5.
David also was determined to show God his appreciation by words spoken to others. Accordingly, he said: “I will laud you, O Jehovah, with all my heart; I will declare all your wonderful works.” (Psalm 9:1) In a similar vein the song “We Thank You, Jehovah!” says: “We thank you, our God, for the honor to preach about your great name and the truth to teach!” Yes, indeed, speaking to others about God, verbally expressing ourselves by sharing with them the truth from his Word, is probably the finest way to show him our gratitude.
Think back, please, to that one leper who returned to express his gratitude for being cured. How did he do this? We are told: “One of them, when he saw he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. And he fell upon his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking him.” (Luke 17:15, 16) Not only did the man thank Jesus for curing him but he also glorified God, the Source of life and true healing. And the healed man did this “with a loud voice.” Why, he must have praised Jehovah and talked about the matter for weeks, even months! This well illustrates how we can express our gratitude by talking about what we have seen, heard and learned about God.
Basically, this is why Jehovah’s Witnesses go from house to house. Gratitude to God moves them to engage in good works, godly deeds. (James 2:26) These works include proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. The Witnesses are eager to tell others about what they have learned from God’s Word, the Bible, and to explain how this knowledge has given them a hope for the future. Like the appreciative leper, they, too, want to glorify God.
Do you also feel motivated to talk about some of the things you have learned from the Scriptures? Do not resist the urge. You can begin by talking to family members, neighbors, fellow workers and friends. As you do so, you will find that your own appreciation for spiritual things will grow, your understanding will deepen, and your desire to learn more will be enhanced. A Scriptural proverb states: “Give to a wise person and he will become still wiser. Impart knowledge to someone righteous and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9) Millions of persons are moved to express their appreciation to God in this way, and they are doing so as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It is evident, then, that we can and should show appreciation to God and fellow humans. We can express gratitude to God in prayer and by extolling his praises in song. Above all, we can show appreciation to Jehovah God by talking to others about his wonderful works.
If you desire help in learning and doing the will of the One who made all things, Jehovah’s Witnesses stand ready to help you. With them, you can know the joy that comes from showing your heartfelt appreciation to God.
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“It’s great to be alive!”