Summary: The Why, What, and Who of Gratitude
A SONG OF THANKSGIVING
My four-year-old likes to say the blessing at mealtimes, usually repeating the same short prayer: "Thank you, God, for this gracious food. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen."
One evening, however, he thanked the Lord for the birds, the trees, each of his friends, and asked God to watch over his family and help them to be good. I was thrilled that he was finally praying from the heart.
But after the "Amen," he took a spoonful of stew, gasped, then dropped his spoon into the bowl. "I should have said a longer prayer," he said. "My food is still too hot." - Catherine Jones, Kerrville, Texas. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom."
How many of you are ready to take time to thank God this year? He has certainly blessed us, hasn’t He? But I wonder how many people this year will be giving thanks with their lips, while their hearts remain pretty much apathetic. We will spend Thursday eating too much, watching TV, maybe doing a few things that we want to do (if that means only getting a nap!) without really stopping to consider how good God has been to us!
I think it is fitting on this Sunday before Thanksgiving to read the words of this song of worship for the Sabbath day. This psalm tells us that thanksgiving is not just praying as we wait for the food to cool off, or words of appreciation given once a year to appease God. This psalm tells us it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord!
As we take time this week to count our blessings, and give thanks to our God Who has given these blessings, today I would like to especially look in Psalm 92:1-5 at how good it is that we can make a habit of thankfulness, as we remember the reasons we have to be thankful, and understand the danger of failing to offer God the thanks He deserves.
I. IT IS GOOD TO THANK GOD (v. 1-3)
The psalmist says that it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. But what does he mean by good? How is giving thanks to God a good thing?
First of all, we can say gratitude is good because God deserves our thanks. It is only proper that we
realize that all the good things that we enjoy have come from Him. When someone gives us a gift, it is only right and proper that we thank them for their generosity. We owe God thanks because He has been good to us. The Bible sums up the bounty of God to us in
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Did you notice the word every in this verse? That leaves nothing out. All the gifts that we will ever enjoy in this life- from the pleasure of a summer day as a kid, to the smile on our children’s faces- all are gifts He has given us. It is true- everything good comes from God.
But there is another reason that it is good to give thanks to God in these verses, and that is because it will bring us delight. The psalmist mentions proclamation (to shew forth), acclamation (making music with the ten stringed instrument and harp) and meditation (the word solemn here does not mean somber but thoughtfully.) Altogether, we see here that thanksgiving is not just to be a duty but a delight.
The idea here is that as we consider God’s goodness to us, our hearts are to well up with praise and thankfulness to the Giver of all the good things that we have received. With our words, our songs, and our thoughts, we are to find joy in thanking Him!
You have much to thank God for this morning. How are you showing that thanksgiving?
Are you aware that all that you enjoy in this life has come from Him? Every raindrop is a jewel of His love. Every sunrise is a reminder that He has given you a day for Him to bless you. Every mouthful of food you enjoy not only this Thursday, but every day, is given to you by a God who cares about you. Do you care enough about Him to give Him thanks?
Have you discovered the joy of expressing your thanks to God for His gifts? Part of the joy of receiving a gift is telling others about it. You may not sing solos in front of other people, but God enjoys hearing you sing praise to Him- you should too! As you think of all that God has given you that you do not deserve, does your heart well up with thankful joy that shows on the outside? This is why it is good to give thanks to the Lord- He deserves it, and we can enjoy it!