Psalm 100 is one of the great songs of thanksgiving in the Bible. It calls us to realize that we belong to God our Maker (vv.3-4), and to praise Him for His goodness, mercy, and truth (v.5).

During a recent reading, however, I was struck by a phrase that speaks of expressing thanks in a tangible, willing way: “Serve the Lord with gladness” (v.2). Many times my service to God is more grudging than glad. I do what I consider my duty, but I’m not happy about it.

Oswald Chambers put his finger on my unthankful attitude when he said: “The will of God is the gladdest, brightest, most bountiful thing possible to conceive, and yet some of us talk of the will of God with a terrific sigh—‘Oh well, I suppose it is the will of God,’ as if His will were the most calamitous thing that could befall us. . . . We become spiritual whiners and talk pathetically about ‘suffering the will of the Lord.’ Where is the majestic vitality and might of the Son of God about that!”

True thankfulness is more than being grateful for what we possess. It’s an attitude that permeates our relationship with the Lord so that we may serve Him with gladness and joy.