"I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol." -Psalm 86:12-13
The Psalmist says that he gives thanks with his WHOLE heart! Compartmentalizing and thanking God in part is not an option for David. If we hold back a portion of our heart as we approach the Lord with thanksgiving, we are clearly communicating that we disagree with or do not appreciate something that has taken place in our lives. That is the root issue—sometimes we believe that we would be more effective “gods.” We buy in to the lie that we know what is best for us. As a result, our worship is half-hearted...crippled.
So here is the question- If our WHOLE heart is required to be biblically, and truly grateful, then what is the condition of our hearts? Are we worshiping and thanking God with a heart that has been beat down, ripped apart, broken, poisoned, abused, or mishandled? God is the one who has the ability to restore the condition of our hearts. If we allow Him to, then we are able to truly love and thank Him with our "made WHOLE again" hearts. So as we grow in faith, in order to experience the fullness of gratitude, the challenge is to give God space to work in us...to restore what needs restoration, to heal what needs healing.
Space means solitude, silence... The distractions of our fast-paced way of life make connecting with God nearly impossible. How can we engage with God if we are always connected to a million other things? God is omnipresent, we are not. I would challenge you to make an intentional decision to disconnect, so that you can connect with your creator, savior, and friend. Put down the phone, the computer, or whatever is keeping you connected to thousands of people and intentionally create space for God to speak to you.
God's love for us is steadfast; it will never change, it will never fail. And if that is not enough to evoke worship in our hearts, the last part of Psalm 86:13 says, "you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol." Sheol is death or Hades. David understood it to be a "place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God." For those who believe in Jesus, they have been saved from Sheol-- from darkness and separation from God. So THANK HIM! With your WHOLE, healed heart. He is worthy of praise and gratitude.