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Giving Thanks


Photo Credit: Maria Pratt

(By Lisa Peat)

Gratitude: we may not realize all the benefits of what a grateful heart does for us.


One Harvard study done by Dr Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough revealed the benefits of being thankful. They studied three groups of people.


The one group was asked to write about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. The second group was asked to write about what irritates them or displeases them every day. The third group wrote about events that had affected them but they did not emphasize either a positive or negative reaction to themselves.


After 10 weeks, the doctors found that those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives and they were surprised to find that they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Other studies have looked at how being grateful could improve relationships. One study found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.


Psalm 136 thanks God for all He has done for His people and reminds them that He is a promise keeper. He is a faithful, good God.


Spurgeon writes: “He is good beyond all others; indeed, he alone is good in the highest sense; he is the source of good, the good of all good, the sustainer of good, the perfecter of good, and the rewarder of good. For this he deserves the constant gratitude of his people.”


The psalmist reflects on God’s goodness and recounts all that God, the God of gods and Lord of lords, has done for the people of Israel.

  • performed mighty miracles

  • made the heavens and earth

  • delivered them from Egypt

  • parted the Red Sea to rescue His people

  • led them through the wilderness

  • remembered them in their weakness and delivered them from their enemies.

After each statement the writer said, “His faithful love endures forever.”


It is so good to go over one’s life and give God thanks for all He has done. Recently, I felt compelled to go over my own life and write down what God has done and rejoice in His faithful love to me.


My Psalm 136


Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord for He created me and knew me before I was even born.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who placed me in my grandparents’ home to live and who shared with me my need of salvation.

His faithful love endures forever.


Give thanks to the Lord who saved my soul and brought me into a right relationship with God.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who blessed me with a loving husband and two children.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who comforted me after my grandmother died and walked with me through my depression.

His faithful love endures forever.


Give thanks to the Lord who healed me from ovarian cancer and drew me closer to Himself.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who gave me strength and peace when a loved one went astray.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who has blessed us with grandchildren to love and share God’s truth with.

His faithful love endures forever.


In my journal I wrote down every joy, every heartache, every trial and thought of how God loved, helped, guided, comforted, and led me. It was a wonderfully long list and I saw how God had been faithful throughout my life.


There are pages and pages we could write to thank God for all He has done for us. We can look to the future with joy knowing He is faithful, He is with us, and every one of His promises will be ours.


I would encourage you to write out Psalm 136 with your life story, looking for all the ways God has been there for you.


“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).


Lord, help us to focus on You and have a heart of gratitude so we remember You are in control, You are faithful, and You are good.