feeling frustrated and grumpy? this verse is for you (and me).
LET THEM GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR HIS UNFAILING LOVE AND HIS WONDERFUL DEEDS FOR MANKIND. — PSALM 107:8
Our house has leaks.
We live in an older home, and we have a roof leak. On this rainy day, the sound of dripping tells me that our latest attempt at fixing it was not a success. We have sink leaks. And the plumber informed me just this morning that we might have to install two entirely new sinks because they don’t make our type of ancient faucets anymore. We have a shower leak. Tomorrow, a tile company is coming to repair all the popped out grout that allows water to seep onto the floor whenever we shower. And all of these leaks all at once were making me feel frustrated and grumpy.
Until I read Psalm 107.
I’ll be honest, I read it because I had to read it. I needed to write this post today. And God, in his perfect timing, landed my grumpy self smack dab in the middle of a song of praise. Not at all where my thankless heart was. And yet, I found myself exactly where I needed to be on this drab and dreary day—called out of my frustrated funk by stories of God’s salvation and the repeated reminder to give him thanks.
I wonder if you need it too?
I wonder if you’re like me—needing to hear a song of praise to our God for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds? I think sometimes we all do, and that’s precisely why this psalm is here—to set our hearts straight by telling us stories of God’s faithfulness. As we look at them, I think you’ll see what I mean, and I hope you’ll have a heart that’s drawn (like mine was) to remember God’s faithfulness to you and to sing his praises, even today.
Stories of God’s faithfulness.
Psalm 107 tells four stories of God rescuing people out of trouble. In the first and last stories, the people find themselves in dire straits by no fault of their own. They’re the victims of two harsh environments—the desert and a tempest at sea. In both instances, when all seems lost, even their lives, they cry out to God for help. God rescues and restores them, bringing them to safety. In the two middle stories, however, the people aren’t just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; these people have willfully chosen to ignore God’s plan and rebel against him. In those stories, the people are reaping the negative consequences of their sin. In one case, they're serving a prison sentence, and in the other, they’ve contracted a deadly physical illness as a result of their sin. The surprise here is what God does when they cry out for help. He rescues them just like he rescues the people who are in a jam through no fault of their own. He rescues them all the same.
And this makes me wonder.
It makes me wonder, “Why would God do such a thing? Why save the people who’ve turned against him?” These four stories answer us by highlighting the character of God through an intentional repetitive pattern. The hardships may be varied, but the pattern of each story is identical. People are in trouble, they cry out to God, and God saves them. This varied repetition emphasizes that regardless of the situation, God always responds the same. Or like our memory verse tells us, his love is always unfailing and his deeds are wonderful. Or to put it another way, his deeds should cause us to wonder. God not only rescues the lost—he rescues rebels, caught up in the full consequences of their folly. God responds to their cry for help with unfathomable and undeserved mercy. This is his character. He will always respond with unfailing love and wonderful deeds for all humans who would repent and call on him.
Doesn’t this make you want to praise him?
Doesn’t the faithful lovingkindness of God toward wayward people press right into your heart? Think of all the times he’s responded to you with unfailing love and undeserved wonders. Think of all of the tight spots the Lord has rescued you from, all the sins you’ve never paid for because he paid the price for you. When we consider all our own stories of God’s unfailing love, we should respond with overflowing gratitude. That’s why the psalmist concludes each salvation story with this call: “Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds to mankind” (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31). It’s the exact same refrain every single time. The reason for the repetition: they need to be reminded to thank God.
We need this verse on repeat too.
Clearly, I needed it this morning. I needed it when I was overwhelmed with the troubles of this old house. I was forgetting the story of this house, how it was God’s answer to my own cry for help in a dark time. He so very specifically and wonderfully showed me his unfailing love by giving us this wonderful house, that for me to not praise him is unthinkable! (If you want to hear the full-on story with all the details, I’ll tell you all about it on the November 17th podcast). And as I read through Psalm 107 this morning, I was reminded of that story and was stopped in my tracks to thank God, the One from whom all blessings flow.
What is one story of God’s faithfulness in your life that you can remember today?
How does that story move your heart to thankfulness?
Who could you share that story with today?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!
ON THE PODCAST
The Unfailing Love of the Lord // Natalie Abbott
When’s the last time you took a minute to stop and think about the things the Lord has done for you? And when’s the last time you stopped to give him thanks? If you are looking for ways to grow in gratitude this month, we are right there with you! We are excited to dive into a new verse together this month that calls us to remember and rehearse what the Lord has done: Psalm 107:8. Join Natalie Abbott, co-founder of Dwell Differently, as she walks us through what the context of this verse is and how we can rightly understand and apply it to our lives today. You won’t want to miss it!