Thankfulness is a way of expressing our faith in God. You’ll see that concept in my book, Extreme Gratitude, and throughout the blog-posts on this site.
It is also part of worship. In Colossians 3:16, Paul encourages us to sing with thankfulness in our hearts to God. Praise is our way of acknowledging how impressive, awesome, amazing, magnificent, glorious, and exalted God is. It is recognizing Him for Who He is. Thankfulness is our response to this holy, exalted God for including us in His thoughts and for all the things He does for us.
Paul describes three different types of songs. According to Bullinger’s Greek Lexicon the words he chose can be differentiated like this:
- Psalms – Songs in commemoration of mercies received
- Hymns – Songs in praise of God
- Spiritual songs – songs written by spiritual men and/or pertaining to spiritual themes
Paul says all should be done with thankfulness. He also says they can be used to “teach and admonish” each other. Teaching is instructing. Admonishing is making mindful, putting in mind, or making aware. It hearkens back to the beginning of the chapter where Paul said to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on that are on the earth.” (The best songs take our minds off worldly things and fill them with heavenly ideas and thoughts.)
All of this is predicated on letting the “word of Christ” richly dwell within us. Is this the Bible? In part. The word “logos” means “message”—in the sense of the very thoughts that are being communicated through written or spoken language. In other words the idea behind them, and not the words themselves. The message of Christ is in essence that this glorious, exalted God really does think about us. And, what He thinks is God With Us, the Messiah/Christ incarnate in the world, our salvation, and His indwelling Spirit and presence within us—Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Let that message richly indwell your heart and mind. It will inspire you. It will change you. In His indwelling wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30-31), you will want to share this insight with others, even through songs, thankfully expressed, making those around you aware of the joy that you have found in knowing and being known by Him.