For many Americans, Thanksgiving means spending time with relatives and friends, feasting on turkey and stuffing, and watching football. While all of these traditions are wonderful, it is important for Christians to remember what the holiday really about, and who should be the object of our thankfulness.
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods." (Psalm 95:1-3 KJV).
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let's take a moment to remind ourselves of all the ways God has blessed us. Here's a list of sevencontemporary songs and hymns that can help us express our thankfulness to God in worship.
1. Blessed Be Your Name - Matt Redman
Contemporary Christian artist Matt Redman blesses the Lord and encourages the worshipper to proclaim God's faithfulness in all seasons of life, both in times of goodness and times of pain.
"Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say Blessed be the name of the Lord!"
2. Indescribable --Chris Tomlin
Popular worship leader Chris Tomlin reveals the magnitude of God's greatness in this 2004 hit, praising an "indescribable" and "uncontainable" Creator.
you placed the stars and you know them by name
You are amazing God"
3. We Gather Together--Traditional Hymn
Although this song of praise was written in 1597 to celebrate a Dutch victory, its timeless message of simple gratitude to God still ring true today.
"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
4. Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart - Henry Smith
Song-writer Henry Smith wrote this song in the mid 80's after experiencing a radical conversion to Christianity. Although Henry eventually lost his sight because of a degenerative eye disease, he never blamed God. He wrote "Give Thanks" as an expression of his eternal gratefulness to God for the gift of salvation.
"Give thanks with a grateful heart.
Give Thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His son.
And now, let the weak say 'I am strong!' Let the poor say 'I am rich!'
Because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks."
5. Here I am to Worship - Chris Tomlin
Another hit by Chris Tomlin, "Here I am to Worship" celebrates the Lord's faithfulness with unashamed thankfulness and humble reverence.
"Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you are God.
You're altogether lovely, altogether worthy,
altogether wonderful to me.
And I'll never know how much it cost,
to see to see my sin upon that cross."
6. This Is My Father's World--Traditional Hymn
This beloved hymn was originally written by a 19th century minister as a poem inspired by Psalm 33:5, which states, "He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love." Later set to music, this simple song of praise perfectly captures the power and beauty of God.
"This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!"
7. Wonderful, Merciful Savior--Selah
Selah's worship hit praises God for his attributes and thanks Him for saving the lost souls of mankind. Nicol Smith's soulful vocals on this song make worshipping and giving thanks all the more wonderful.
"Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend,
Who would have thought that a lamb would
rescue the souls of men
You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for"