Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever… (Psalm 136:1-3)
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There is power in repetition.
Have you ever greeted someone with your “church-chat” dialouge? It goes something like this:
“Good morning! How are you?”
“Good! How are you doing?”
“Doing fine! Glad to see you this morning.”
Something about that conversation falls short in authenticity. While I’m sure it’s from a kind heart, a genuine answer might be overlooked in these kinds of interactions. We’ve all smiled with joy, answering positively to Sunday morning questions, while our reality was much worse than we wanted to lead on.
Parallel that conversation, to one between two pre-teens:
“Come on. What’s wrong?”
“I said it’s nothing. I’m fine.”
“Will you tell me what is wrong?”
There’s a huge similarity between these two conversations. The great majority of us are not trying to be inauthentic; I think we all just feel afraid to answer truthfully. We almost feel as though it’s inappropriate to answer honestly - like we would inconvenient someone with our lives.
And in most cases, those who ask the question have to ask multiple times to get an honest answer. It’s easy to get away with the easy answers - until someone asks again. And again. And again.
There’s something about the power of repetition that causes us to reevaluate our responses.
When we are asked enough - we stop to actually think about what we are saying. The question “What’s wrong?” is hard to remain indifferent to when we know that something is wrong.
I believe the same is true for the truth we find in Psalm 136. This is a very repetitive Psalm. If I am honest, repetition can seem dull. Just read the rest of this chapter and you will see the very clear point: His steadfast love endures forever.
This Psalm can accidentally become a “skimming Psalm” - quickly passing over the text, because, yes, I get that “His steadfast love endures forever..." But remember, there is power in repetition.
The power of repetition awakens us to the truth. Sometimes we have to hear the same thing over and over again before we realize what is really going on. Repetition can assist us - moving us out from the discomfort and into the willingness to be real.
When I am caught staring at repetition, I tell myself to slow down. Something is worth being said, and I might be missing it. In this section of scripture, we are repetitively taught: give thanks because of His steadfast love.
Did you know that the love the Lord has for you is not only steadfast, but also enduring? He is strong in your weakness. He will hold up your burdens. He is timeless and His promise is everlasting. He is a forever God that is always faithful.
We’ve heard that, know that, but still, we forget to respond! When was the last time you were sincerely grateful for who God is? Have you stopped what you have been doing to give Him thanks recently? We are called to repeat this throughout our days.
But how often do we? How often do you remember His love in the midst of your crisis? When things are going wrong, are you thankful that the Lord is consistent when your circumstances aren’t? Are you grateful that His love is enough to bank on for the rest of your existence? Have you opened your mouth and spoken or sung your thanks for that love?
Consistent praise will change your circumstances. In this Psalm, He is teaching us how to live a life of joy - one that goes deeper than the surface. For repetition is not only powerful in word, but also in action.
What’s actively repeated is remembered. What you repeat will become a part of your lifestyle. In fact, I’m confident that there are areas of life that simply became "the normal way to do things" due to repetition.
So today, I challenge you to be repetitive in your thanksgiving towards God, both inwardly and outwardly. Become awaken to His constant truth.
And we would love to know: How do you show your thankfulness to God on a daily basis? Let us know in today's Instagram post! Find it at Instagram.com/DeclareGlory.
Guest Writer: Andrew Layden