Summary: We are called to live with grateful hearts every day, not just on Thanksgiving
November 18, 2001
Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One,
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son
And now let the weak say I am strong
And now let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the lord has done for us
Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
What are you thankful for?
This morning there is an insert in your bulletins asking you to list five things, in no specific order, that you are thankful for. The list you’ve created may have included your family or friends, good health, good job, or the freedom you have as an American. All of these things are good and we should be thankful for all of them but I think in America we have taken the most basic blessings of God for granted.
Statistics from the World:
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend church meetings without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion in the world.
And if your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States.
We are greatly blessed by a gracious and wonderful God. This morning I want to examine a few of the reasons we should be thankful toward God.
I. Give Thanks because God is our Sovereign
We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.
A. The meaning of thanks
1. The Hebrew word yadah
The Hebrew language has no word for that simply means thanks. The word we translate as thanks in English means much more in Hebrew. The word yadah means, "to make public acknowledgment."
2. ILL - Missionary: I will tell your name
A veteran medical missionary tells of his work in India. "I was a medical missionary for many years in India and I served a region where there was progressive blindness. People were born with healthy vision, but there was something in that area that caused people to lose their sight as they matured."
The missionary developed a process to stop the progressive blindness. Many people came to him to have him perform the operation and they would leave realizing that their sight had been saved. Not one of the people who received this treatment said "thank you" because it is not a part of their language. Instead, these people word say a word that meant "I will tell your name" and everywhere they went they told of the doctor and how he saved their sight.
B. God is Almighty
1. God has all power
Our God is all-powerful and there is absolutely nothing beyond His ability to accomplish. The same power that delivered Joseph from the pit can remove you from the pits in your life. The same power that parted the Red Sea can part the difficulties of your life. The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead can give new life to you.
2. God has all knowledge
Our God has all knowledge and there is nothing that He does not already know. God cannot be surprised. God is never astonished. God knows your past, God knows your future and God has a marvelous plan for your life.
3. God has all sovereignty
Our God rules over all of creation and is the King of all people. There is nothing beyond His authority.
GIVE THANKS TO GOD!
II. Give Thanks because God is our Strength
You turned my wailing into dancing; you have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy; that my heart may sing to you and not be silent, O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever. Psalm 30:11-12
A. The strength of God produces joy
1. God’s strength supports us
God gives us strength to get through even the toughest situations of life. It is God’s strength that gives us hope in the midst of despair. It is God’s strength that gives us light in the midst of our darkness. It is God’s strength that gives us support in our weakness.