Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22 (NRSV)
Verse 1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
Verse 2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble
Verse 3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Verse 17Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
Verse 18they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
Verse 19Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;
Verse 20he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.
Verse 21Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
Verse 22And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.
Gratitude might seem difficult to muster in response to this last year. All around the world people have endured illness, loneliness, violence, and loss. Rather than singing songs of joy, we may still be crying out in our trouble.
This psalm provides comfort with the conviction that there is One we can cry out to, who responds to human suffering with enduring love and undeserved favor. Our hope and trust are not to be placed in our circumstances, but in the Lord, whose very character is goodness and love.
This character is most fully revealed in Jesus, who takes our sin and affliction upon himself in order to give us new life. We give thanks to God for giving us Jesus, who walks with us in our best days and our worst. We thank Jesus for working to redeem all our suffering and sorrow, even when we cannot yet see how.
Merciful God, help us to recognize your work in our lives. Thank you for your unfailing love that encompasses our past, present, and future. Amen.