Good Life

Clergy Column | The Rev. Drew Fenstermacher

What are some essentials to living a healthy life? Most would say daily exercise, healthy foods and sound rest. Some would add good friends, laughter and mentally stimulating activities.

What is essential to living a healthy spiritual life? God, who created life, tells us of one essential in Psalm 92:1-2: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your loving kindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night.”

Why is giving thanks to the Lord good for spiritual health? Here are four reasons.

First, it is an appropriate response to God’s grace toward us. Giving thanks is really gratitude for God’s grace. Entering Christmas season is certainly a great time to express gratitude for the greatest grace of all — the gift of God the Son who became man to give his life-blood for our rebellion so that we might experience forgiveness and friendship with God through faith in Christ.

Second, it is a beautifying experience. Psalm 33:1 says, “Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; praise is becoming to the upright.” Giving thanks to the Lord “beautifies” the inner man. It even enhances one’s appearance. It illuminates the beauty of one enraptured by the goodness of God. Spend a few minutes in the presence of an “old sourpuss,” and you will be glad when it’s over. Enter into the company of one who overflows with gratitude, and you will desire to behold such beauty for a lifetime.

Third, giving thanks is an experience that touches others. God uses his children, who give thanks to him, to positively influence others to “trust in the Lord” (see Psalm 40:1-3). The man whom God used to lead me to faith in Christ some 40 years ago not only shared the Gospel with me, but he also radiated a heart overflowing with gratefulness to his savior. God used the heart of gratefulness to help me hear the Gospel and lead me to trust Christ as my Savior.

Finally, it gets our focus off ourselves and onto the loving and faithful Lord (Psalm 92:1). We live in a self-obsessed culture, and as a result, we are bored silly. The way to being satisfied is becoming God-observant in all of our focus. Daily thanking of God for his loving kindness (his committed love) and for His faithfulness (his certain word and work) is a good way to build God-observance in one’s life.

Want to live a healthy spiritual life? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior and daily give thanks to the Lord. Allow me to encourage you to journey through this Thanksgiving-Christmas season daily giving thanks to the God who so loves you that he sent “his only-begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).