Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Language is a weird thing. What words mean and the way people talk is different. But understanding the way people use words is more important than what the words actually mean.
Let me give you an example. If somebody is the best at what they do, we call them the GOAT, which means they are the greatest of all time. In English, calling someone a goat doesn’t mean that they are actually a goat. All languages are the same this way. If you were to call a man the goat in Spanish, you would get beat up. That sort of thing is true in Hebrew and Greek, too.
To say, thank you in Hebrew, we say ani modeh Lechi (I thank you), but the word Modeh has another meaning. To confess, we say Ani Modeh Sharsiti (I confess). But why do we have two meanings for the same word? Because to say a genuine thank you means to confess that we need somebody else in our life, and that we can’t do it alone. As human beings, we like to think that we’ve got this all by ourselves, but that’s works. Saying thank you allows us to understand that we need other people. It helps us understand we need God in our life.
So Scripture isn’t saying feel good about terrible things that are happening to you in your life. It’s saying give thanks or confess that you need God in every moment, good or bad. You need something bigger than just yourself. It means, good or bad, don’t take your eyes off God. And remember that, no matter what is happening, you are not in this by yourself.
Never will he leave you. Never will he forsake you. You are not abandoned. You are loved. You are taken care of and, one way or another, you are going to get through this. And that’s different than just feeling good about the stuff that you have and the things that are happening to you.