Why Should We Come into God’s Presence with Thanksgiving?
The various authors of the Psalms are known to share their innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences through what they wrote. Psalm 95 is no exception, as the psalmist declares a heart full of praise and worship toward God. Many of us can relate to the psalms and their way of giving words to how we feel, what we believe, and the experiences we go through in life.
This particular psalm is a call to worship. It brings us to the glorious presence of the Lord and teaches how we should enter into that presence with a posture of thanksgiving and praise lifted to God.
“Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (Psalm 95:2, NJKV).
We can enter into His presence by responding to who He is with thanksgiving. We should come into God’s presence with thanksgiving because we are called to do so, and because God is good; He is our salvation, creator of all things, and God of all gods. There is none like God, and only He is worthy of such praise and adoration.
What Does This Verse Mean?
Simply put, this verse instructs us to come to God with thanksgiving and joyful praise. It is a call to the children of God to come to Him in prayer and worship, and to come with hearts full of thanksgiving and praise. Before we go to God with anything, we should praise Him. His presence is glorious, and He is worthy of exultation.
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation” (Psalm 95:1).
I can imagine the psalmist reflecting on all the goodness and grandness of the Lord, and from that, the praise and adoration comes pouring out. Maybe you have had moments in your spiritual journey where the goodness of God so deeply resonated, that praise simply poured out.
This psalm is a vital reminder that we should come to the Lord with praise all the time, that He desires our worship and thanksgiving, and that we have countless reasons to joyfully worship the Lord. This verse teaches that praising God can be a joyful experience that draws us closer to the one true God.
What Is the Context of Psalm 95?
“God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts’” (Hebrews 4:7).
We know that all Scripture is without error and so we can trust that the author of Hebrews is accurate in listing David as the author of Psalm 95. Authorship is helpful to know, but what makes Psalm 95 marvelous is that it is a call to worship the great Lord!
The audience would have been the Israelites, yet this psalm is written to all generations of believers throughout history and today. The author reflects on God’s superiority over any other gods, declares God the creator of all things, and wrote that we (God’s people) should come to bow down and worship.
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:6-7).
The author is deeply moved by God’s majesty, His creation, and therefore, asserted that believers should come into the presence of God with thanksgiving and praise. We are not a lost people, rather those who find God are His people. He cares for them as sheep. What great love is portrayed in this psalm.
Perhaps you have experienced the movement of God in your heart and life, and you understand the joy and celebratory tone that this Psalm is written in. When one has experienced God, accepts His love, and understands that He is God of gods and King of kings, truly, praise overflowing is a natural result.
Lastly, this psalm ends with a word from the Lord in the final verses.
“Today, if you will hear His voice: ‘Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness’” (Psalm 95:7-8).
The Lord declared in this Psalm the warning for His children not to harden their hearts as the Israelites did when they wandered in the desert for 40 years. God desires that we know Him and follow Him by faith, having hearts fully devoted to Him.
Why Should We Come before God with Thanksgiving and Praise?
As the psalm highlights, we praise God because he is our Rock of salvation (verse 1), He is the great God and King above any other god or king (verse 3), He created and possesses all creation (verses 4-5), and we are His people (verse 7). This entire psalm points to the glory and majesty of God, His deep love for creation, and demonstrates how He indeed is worthy of all praise. There are many other places throughout Scripture that paint a similar picture of God. Truly, God alone is worthy of our praise.
The Psalmist does not suggest we worship an evil god, a selfish god, or a god who loathes humanity – rather, we are being called to worship the one true God who loves us and created all things. Another Psalm provides a similar message.
“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours” (Psalm 86:8).
We are called to worship God because truly, none can be compared to Him, and He alone is worthy of all praise (see Deuteronomy 10:21). Desiring praise does not make God vain or selfish, because His nature is one of love, justice, and compassion. Praising God does not boost God’s ego, rather it draws us close to Him. Praising God does not make God vain, instead, it makes our hearts right.
How Can We Come into God's Presence with Thanksgiving Right Now?
If you are able to safely do so, you can come into God’s presence right now. You can do so by coming to the Lord in prayer and through His word. Begin to praise God for the good God He is and tell Him what you are thankful for — perhaps you are waiting for an answer to prayer, recently had a breakthrough, or are grateful that God is faithful, compassionate, and loving. You could start by simply praying Psalm 95 out loud.
Each day, we can create time to enter into God’s presence. Psalm 95 gives us instruction on how we can do that. We can enter God’s presence with thanksgiving right now by singing to the Lord and shouting joyfully (verse 1), shouting joyfully the psalms to Him (verse 2), declaring He is the King of kings and creator of all things (verses 3-5), by worshipping and bowing down before God (verse 6), and not hardening our hearts but remaining faithful to the Lord (verse 8).
When you spend time in God’s presence each day, praising Him and thanking Him, it will give you a break from worry, fear, and troubles. Likewise, praise to the Lord will assure you of who God is, His love for you, grow a deeper faith, and help you see how God is truly with you.
The presence of God is available to His children, and Scripture instructs that we should come before God with praise and thanksgiving. We do this because He alone is God — a God who is good, faithful, and the maker of all things. God does not selfishly demand that we praise Him, rather, He calls us to praise Him because of who He is and because praise draws us closer to Him and deepens our faith.
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Pamela Palmer is a writer, speaker, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces devotionals and faith resources to inspire keeping faith at the center of life. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of others. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is the author of Living a Deeper Faith: Nurture Your Relationship with God and Live a Faith-Fueled Life. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com, and you can follow her at upheldlife.com or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.