Quite often in our blogs we have been looking at the benefits that staying in a place of thanksgiving brings to us. Today I want to focus on what happens in the heavenly realms when we give thanks. We know from 1 Chronicles 16:41,42, and 2 Chronicles 5:12-14 (see blogs 324 and 325), that thanksgiving was an important ingredient in the Temple worship and that when the priests did what had been commanded, singing, ‘give thanks to the Lord, “for His love endures forever.” the glory of God fell in the temple, (which was at that time His dwelling place on the earth) and the weight of that glory was such that the priests could not continue with their service.
God specifically gave them that simple song to sing and showed His delight, when they sang it, by coming among them with His power and glory. So can we conclude then that thanksgiving is one of the languages of heaven? I believe so. I believe that every time we give thanks we honour Jesus. Every time we show our gratitude to Him, all of heaven rejoices because Jesus and His sacrifice are acknowledged and greatly appreciated. We are grateful to be God’s children because Jesus went to the cross. We are so glad that we have a good God and we are so glad for all the benefits that this confers on us. Psalm 103:1-5.
Our thanksgiving gives great joy in the heavenly realm to Jesus, to our Heavenly Father and to the beautiful Holy Spirit. So what of the other inhabitants of heaven, the angels? As we look through the bible they are constantly present and active in our world. They communicate between heaven and earth, bringing messages from God and acting on His behalf for His people. They too are exhorted, by the psalmist, to praise Him like us. ‘Praise Him all His angels, praise Him all His heavenly hosts.’ Psalm 148:2. John when he was taken into heaven in the spirit, heard ‘the voice of many angels numbering thousands upon thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand.’ around the throne, Revelation 5:11. What an incredible sound and what joy they must be experiencing in heaven as they sing, just awestruck, at what He has done for us.
We know that ‘when God brings His firstborn Son into the world He says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.” Hebrews 1:6. We also know that they rejoice together whenever anyone becomes a Christian, Luke 15:10. They see so much more clearly than us what God has done for us through Jesus, and I believe they just love it when we catch on and give our praise and thanks to Him. They don’t just worship and give thanks before the throne but, I believe, they join us on earth when we give thanks. They are drawn to gratitude, praise and worship.
If the angel armies love to hear our expressed gratitude, then it is also true that Satan and his angels of darkness hate it. I believe that they particularly hate it when we give thanks and use the powerful name of Jesus. Gratitude, giving honour, thanks and praise to Jesus is the last thing that satan wants to hear coming from our lips. It drives him away, so he does all he can to silence us. Remember ‘He who sacrifices thank offerings honours me, and he prepares a way so that I may show him the salvation of God.’ Psalm 50:23. Our ‘thank offerings’, particularly those ‘sacrificial ones’ change the atmosphere and make way for the Lord to show us His way in our lives.
So today let us give ourselves that fresh incentive to stay thankful, knowing that it delights God’s heart, causes great joy among the angels and drives away our enemy. I love any Carol that not only speaks of the miracle of the incarnation but also reminds us of the angelic delight as it happened. ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’, ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing.’ ‘Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all you citizens of heaven above.’ This Christmas I don’t want those songs to be a narrative of what happened 2,000 years ago, but I want my gratitude to cause them more joy and reason to ‘visit’ the earth, here and now in 2021.