Seven Things to Be Thankful For
1. For automatic dishwashers—they make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family come in for their after-dinner snacks.
2. For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house—they usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
3. For the bathtub—the one place the family allows Mom some time to herself.
4. For children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
5. For gardening—it’s a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
6. For teenagers—they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
7. For smoke alarms—they let you know when the turkey is done. (Source unknown from eSermons.com)
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. After the Pilgrims’ first year’s harvest, the governor of the settlement, William Bradford, declared a day to give thanks. This day of thanks was observed even up to the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.
Yet today, especially in America, this day of thanks to God has been secularized and lost most of its religious roots. Many people give thanks but forget the One they are to give thanks. Of all the people in the world, American should be extra thankful.
O.S. Hawkins writes in his book, Good News for Great Days, this thought provoking paragraph (page 214):
Someone has noted that if you reduce the world population to 1,000 and put them all in one city it would have quite a distinctive look. Only 46 of the 1,000 would be Americans. Nine hundred and fifty-four would represent the rest of the world. Yet, these 46 would receive half of the income from the entire city. These 46 people’s life expectancies would be 75 years of age while the rest would be 40 years of age. These 46 people would eat 70% above the daily food requirements while 80% of the rest of the city would never get a balanced meal. In fact, the kitchen disposals of the 46 people would eat better than 80% of the city.
We should be extremely thankful for what God has blessed us with as Americans. All of us right now have a lot for which to give thanks. As we look at our present condition and possession, we should be bubbling over with thanks to God. I fear that we have grown too comfortable and far too ungrateful for all that God has done for us. We can give thanks. What happens too often is that we look at what others have and we want those things. We no longer give thanks to God for what He has given already. We display a ungrateful spirit, which says that we deserve what we have. Such a spirit says, “I have worked hard to get what I have and no one has given it to me. I deserve it all.”
• We would expect this attitude of the lost world, but it is not to be so among God’s children. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:20,
o Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• In fact, Paul tells us that giving thanks is God’s will for His children.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
o In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
• David understood this and led the nation of Israel in worship to God. He proclaimed before the people the wondrous works of God, giving thanks as a means of worship. On the day that the people brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, David’s psalm of worshipful thanks was song.
1 Chronicles 16:8-13
o 8 Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
11 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
12 Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
13 O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
The writers of the psalms were acquainted with the need to offer thanks to God. Through out the book, they mention all the great and wonderful deeds that God preformed on behalf of His children.
In Psalm 107, the psalmist is looking back over the history of Israel and is offering thanks to God for all that He has done of them. In the psalm, the psalmist gives us numerous reasons to be thankful to God. Five times he pleads with us to give thanks to the Lord because of what God has done for us (vs. 1, 8, 15, 21 & 31).
Given our time, we are going to look at a few of the reasons the psalmist gives why we are to be thankful.
The redeemed can give thanks to God for:
1. Their Redemption v1-3
The psalmist is remembering the deliverance God brought for them when they were in bondage and slavery in Egypt. God worked mightily to secure their freedom for the hand of Pharaoh. Because of that great work, the people are to offer thanks to God.
We were once in the hands of the enemy, but God bought us out. He paid the price so that we can be free from the death grip of the sin.
• Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
• 2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
• Galatians 3:13
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)
2. Their Deliverance from distress v4-6
Once the Israelites were free from the hand of Pharaoh, they soon entered into a distress of their own making. God lead them to the Promise Land to enter and inhabit it, yet, they rejected God’s offer. Because of their own disobedience, they wandered the wilderness for 40 years. This is the wandering the psalmist is remembering.
When they called out to God, He delivered them from the trouble of their own making.
• What would we say—
o You made your bed now sleep in it
o You get what you deserve
o Serves you right
Thankfully, God does not think like we do, so He delivered them from their distress.
We too create troublesome distress for ourselves. We ignore the Word of God and make havoc of our lives.
Just after I graduated from seminary, I was offered a position to be a youth minister in a church a college buddy of mine was pastoring. Amy was pregnant with Lindan and we had no insurance. I was excited about the offer and thought this would pay for the pregnancy so I accepted it. It was the worse career move I ever made. I was blinded by the offer so I ignore the call of God to be a pastor, and ignored the fact that God will take care of us.
In that troublesome distress I created, Amy and I called out to God and He made a way for us to leave that situation gracefully. He also provided for our needs afterwards.
In those distresses that we create or don’t create, we can be thankful to God for His help and deliverance.
3. God’s Leadership v 7a
As God delivered the nation of Israel from their self-made trouble, He also gave them guidance. He led them in the direction they are to go.
God’s leadership, his guidance, His direction is also for us. He leads us through:
• Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
• Proverbs 6:23
For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life
• John 16:13
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
• This is part of the work that the prophets of God did for the nation of Israel.
Jehoshaphat allied with Ahab seeks a prophet of God to determine if they should go to war together.
2 Chronicles 18: 4 & 6
6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?”
• This part of the work that God’s shepherds do for the children of God
1 Peter 5:1-2
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly
4. God’s Goodness v 1, 8
God is not fair. God does not consider what is fair when He acts. In the idea of fairness is the understanding of getting what we deserve. Getting what we deserve is called justice. If god extended to us what we deserve, we all would be human fireballs in a place called Hell. If God played fair, then we get the just result of our sinful lives, Hell. But, God does not extend to us fairness but sometime even greater that is expressed in this psalm.
In verse one and eight (and elsewhere in the psalm), a term is used to describe what God extends to use.
Cheshed = Hebrew for God’s steadfast covenant love
Instead of extending to us what we deserve, God acts upon His steadfast covenant love toward us and show us His goodness. Withholding what we deserve, He extends to us mercy.
5. A Satisfied Soul v 9
There is a longing in every heart that man seeks to satisfy by everything the world has to offer. We seek activities, jobs, sports, hobbies, relationships, things and never do they fill the longing of our hearts. God only fills this longing. He is the only One that fits the shape of the empty spot that is in our hearts. Nothing else ever comes close.
The psalmist understood this, turns to God, and says, “Thank you for fill that longing in my soul.”
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
God wants to fill your longing, your empty spot in your heart, if you will let Him.
Some of you have already experienced the satisfying that comes from God. Will you give thanks today?
• We often take the things God does for granted and seldom are we vocal with our thanks to God.
• Will you today, offer God your thanks for what He has done?
• Will you do so openly for others to hear?
• Giving thanks in all things expresses faith-faith in the God who knows what He’s doing; faith in the God who sovereignly rules in all that happens to us.
• Giving thanks in all things means I am no longer walking as a mere man, grumbling and griping, but walking as a spiritual man, humble and thankful.