Colossians 3:15 in the New King James Version, the Verse of the Day for November 22, 2016, speaks of the peace of God and connects it to being thankful:
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
For a more detailed rendering of the context, take a look at Colossians 3:15-17 in the New Living Translation:
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Clearly the context of the passage relates to “giving thanks.” We find the mirror image of these verses in Ephesians 5:19-20 which also speaks of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” When we examine these two passages, we find a parallel connection in light of the context of “giving thanks to God.”
These two passages remind us that expressing our gratitude to God is to be connected to everything that we do: “Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things” with the exhortation reinforced that no matter what you do in word or deed, it is to be done with gratitude, giving thanks to God the Father through Christ.
The Word of God reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives. There is to be a continual overflow of gratitude to God, as we encourage ourselves through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, as we allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly or to make itself at home in our hearts. Not only are we to edify and reassure ourselves, but we are to become a source of strength and encouragement for one another.
Each year around the Thanksgiving holiday, I like to post my list of “Top Ten Thanksgiving Songs”: five are traditional hymns, and five are contemporary songs of praise and worship, all of which focus on being thankful. In actuality the list could be viewed as a collection of “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Here is here a brief definition of these terms plus a sampling of music from these three categories:
Psalms are consider songs of praise directed to God, as directed in the Book of Psalms. Today a number of the Psalms of David have been set to music, as illustrated in one of most popular songs of thanks from the Bible is “ I Will Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving /He Has Made Me Glad offered by Maranatha Music.
Hymns are described as formal and traditional songs often sung by a congregation in praise of God in a public worship setting. Out of the Protestant Reformation emerged songs written in the vernacular of the people. Here is a medley of three popular hymns of thanksgiving: “Come Ye Thankful People Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
This category of songs is said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, often based on a spiritual theme or teaching of spiritual principles. Much of contemporary praise and worship can be placed in this category.
Here is a new song of gratitude “I’m Thankful” by Alexander Delgado:
Every day let us encourage ourselves and one another, “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
We conclude with Katherine Abbot offering a musical rendering of Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of heart”: