What an amazing privilege to bless the Lord! How does the creation bless the Creator? We are inferior. He is superior. One of the answers lies in the meaning of the word. In Hebrew,the word for bless is “berakh”, which also means to kneel. I had an “ah hah” moment when I learned that! It means to kneel before Him, acknowledging who He is – His nature and character – and to give Him praise and thanks in all things. See 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thanking, praising, and blessing God is NOT dependent on circumstances, which can be pleasant or not so pleasant. It is dependent on knowing God. St. Paul praised God even in the middle of a Roman prison after having been severely beaten (see Acts 16: 22-25). Paul’s focus was not on the circumstance, but rather on God. The praise that came from him was a result of the One who was in him and Paul’s faith and trust in this God – El Elyon – the Most High God!
Paul was well versed in the scriptures and so he knew of Moses’ experiences. He could recall to his mind when Moses asked God His name and God responded “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3: 13 -14). This is God’s eternal name to be remembered for all generations! Paul was familiar with the time that Moses asked to see God’s glory and God responded by passing all His goodness before Moses and proclaiming His Name, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin….” (Exodus 34: 6-7).
Paul also had a personal revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus when the Lord said to him, “I am Jesus….” (Acts 9:5). Paul came to know Jesus as the “I AM” – the Bread of life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the Resurrection (John11:25), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). HE is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8). HE is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). HE is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6-7). Do we know Him like this? Once we come to know Jesus in this way we too can have an attitude of gratitude at all times! We can bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all our iniquity, who heals all our diseases, who redeems our life from the pit and crowns us with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies our soul with good so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s, and who works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed (Psalm 103: 1-6).
There is another benefit to blessing, praising and thanking God in everything! This is the benefit of enjoying the peace of God. In Hebrew the word for peace is shalom and it has a much broader meaning than our word “peace”. Our Western minds think of “peace” as meaning the absence of war or a sense of calmness and quiet. The Hebrew meaning of “peace” encompasses our entire well-being. It refers to our health, safety, prosperity (spirit, soul and body), our wholeness and completeness. This is why the Bible teaches us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7). Now that’s something to REJOICE about!! Hallelujah!
So, even if you don’t feel like it right now, even if your circumstances are very difficult, even if you are deeply discouraged or depressed, obey God and believe His Word. Let’s bless the Lord together right now. Remember all His benefits and give Him thanks. The peace of God will be yours! That peace is priceless!