“Bring my life out of prison, that I may confess, praise, and give thanks to your name; the righteous will surround me and crown themselves because of me, for you will deal bountifully with me." Psalm 142:7
Franklin, NC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/09/2011 --Fame and fortune are often fleeting. David was in a critical period. He had killed Goliath, proving himself a worthy warrior, but fate had taken a bad turn. Now, he is a fugitive hiding in a cave and King Saul is plotting to kill him. Emotionally, he is in the depths of sorrow, believing all have deserted him. David responds to this crisis by giving thanks to God. He has faith God will deal with him bountifully. Family and friends gather in support and David eventually becomes King of Israel. Under David’s leadership, the nation of Israel prospers. The Bible paints King David as having many human transgressions but he always manages to give God thanks and his life is bountiful.
We call this Biblical principle: ‘The law of Bounty and Giving Thanks.’ We believe it may be one of the more violated concepts in today’s world.
We live in an age where it is considered a sign of weakness to show appreciation to anyone, much less a higher power. Some call this the age of narcissism. We focus so much on ourselves and our accomplishments; we forget or are unwilling to give thanks. David understood that he could not get out of the cave without help. In life, don’t we need help with most of our problems? Determination, direction, and persistence are important but few things are accomplished without help.
We counted over 174 verses in the Bible advising us to give thanks. We are sure there are many more. Is it like the trees and forest, we wondered? We see the individual verses but fail to see the magnitude.
Messages all around us tell us about vanity. If we used the right soap or beauty cream, we will be beautiful; if we buy the latest style of clothing people will admire us. Our society encourages us to take vanity too far.
Many biblical leaders found themselves symbolically locked in a cave, as did David in the Bible. Moses was locked into royal power but gave it all up to free the Israelites. He often retuned thanks. Mary Magdalene gave thanks as her life was transformed. Paul, who was filled with hatred, was later transformed on the road to Damascus. Paul gave thanks for his new mission, which included building new churches.
There are three reasons we need to see the forest and practice the Law of Bounty and Giving Thanks. Giving thanks assures us of bounty. It may not be the exact type of bounty we were expecting but our lives are often blessed in unexpected ways. Being thankful prepares us to move into the future with a positive attitude. When we are thankful, our attention is drawn to positive aspects of a situation and this creates more harmony and less conflict. David had discovered cursing the darkness of the cave was getting him nowhere. He gave thanks, for everything and balance, harmony and more were restored.
Most of us are not destined to be king. For most of us, however, harmony, abundance and peace inside ourselves and in our lives would be wonderful. Gratitude helps us make sense of darkness and return to the light.
Go to our newsroom at http://9955.hostednr.com to mention your experiences in using this Biblical Law. Practicing this law takes a few minutes a day.
Dr. Gordon Mercer is international president of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society and is professor emeritus at Western Carolina University. Marcia Mercer is a writer and columnist and her children’s book “When I Woke Up the World Was Yellow” has just been published. Dr. Mercer served as pastor of Mount Zion United Methodist Church from 1973- 1976. He was recently invited back to give the homecoming sermon. The views expressed in this column are our own and do not reflect the views of other organizations.