Approach the Gate with Thanks

Ericka Loynes

Read: Psalm 100

Enter his gates with thanksgiving. (v. 4)

According to the United Nations Global Trends Report 2016, 65.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Out of the 2.8 million people who sought asylum, only 335,200 were granted some form of protection. The entire process for applying and receiving asylum varies from country to country. In some places, the process can take more than two years. Regardless of the wait, I imagine the moment people escape political wars and ruthless persecution, they are grateful.

In Psalm 100, the songwriter urges the nation of Israel to come through the tabernacle gates with thankful hearts. Before they enter the courtyard (v. 4)—even before they approach the gates—he instructs them to be thankful. In fact, all nations are invited to express thanksgiving. Why give thanks? Because God is good. This psalm is the culmination of songs recounting God’s inherent good nature. In Psalms 95-99, the jubilant lyrics are clear and must not be ignored. God is the rock of their salvation, creator of the earth, miracle worker, majestic and sovereign king, righteous judge, and a loving, faithful, and forgiving God. They have much to be thankful for.

How do we show up to enter the gates of God’s presence? Our attitude matters. Let’s not rely on a place of worship to inspire a thankful heart. Wherever we are, let’s recall all the good things God has done for us and instantly give thanks. —Ericka Loynes

Prayer: Lord, help us to come into your presence with an attitude of gratitude.