For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Romans 8:38-39

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Thankful for Others’ Mercies

Last week was a week of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, specifically for the way He has worked in the lives of many of our dear families, friends, and church body to bring physical healing in the midst of pain and suffering. When doctors have braced some families for the worst, their loved one pulled through for yet another night, when CAT scans and biopsy results were feared, the Lord poured out His grace in clear scans and noncancerous results.

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
(Psalm 107:8 KJV)

We know that we should rejoice with those who rejoice, but too often another person’s cause for rejoicing just floats aimlessly past us like dandelion dust. The Lord is worthy to be praised, whether we see His mercy extended in someone’s life or our own.

I read the following quote recently and was freshly stirred to contemplate what it will like to have “perfected praise”. It is taken from George Whitefield: Daily Readings, March 12 entry.

Those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ never lack matter for praise and adoration; those who have such continual scenes of his infinite goodness presented to their view so that their souls are duly affected with a sense of his universal love, cannot cease to call on heaven and earth, men and angels, to join with them in praising and blessing that high and lofty One, who inhabits eternity, and daily pours down his blessings on the whole race of mankind. But few have arrived to such a degree of love as to rejoice with those that do rejoice, and to be as thankful for others’ mercies as their own. This part of Christian perfection, though begun on earth, will be consummated only in heaven, where our hearts will glow with such fervent love towards God and one another that every fresh degree of glory communicated to our neighbor will also communicate to us fresh thankfulness and joy. That which has the greatest tendency to generally excite fallen men to praise and thanksgiving, is a sense of God’s private mercies and particular benefits bestowed upon us. As these come nearer our own hearts, they affect us more, and as they are proofs of God’s special favor, so they cannot but sensibly touch us; and if our hearts are not quite frozen, like coals of a refiner’s fire they melt us down into thankfulness and love. It was a consideration of the distinguishing favors God had shown to his chosen people Israel, and the frequent and remarkable deliverances wrought by him on their behalf, that made the holy Psalmist break out as frequently as he does in Psalm 107, in this moving exclamation, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!