Summary: I thank God to acknowledge His goodness to me.
Why Do We Give Thanks? Psalm 30:1-12
What is the purpose of thanksgiving? Why do we give thanks? This is the question I want to answer for you today. I want to answer this question and then apply it to our lives spiritually.
Here is a definition of thanksgiving. We give thanks to acknowledge someone else’s goodness.
ILLUSTRATION: You say thank you to someone because they have done something good to you.
1. Thank you for your help.
2. Thank you for your phone call.
3. Thank you for your thoughts that helped us here.
4. Thank you for your prayers.
We thank other people when they do good things for us. There are times that God wants to be thanked for His goodness in your life.
Here is a visual to help you see what it means to give thanks.
VISUAL: Set out a basket with things that represent the good things that God has given me.
We have some examples of people of thanking God for the good things that He has done.
Example: David thanked God because of God’s act of justice in David’s life. (Psalm 7:17). David sang a song of thanks to God.
Example: People of Israel took times in the years and offered parts of what they received at harvest time, and they gave it in worship to God. (Exodus 29:27-28)
Example: Psalm 30 is a psalm that David wrote to give thanks to God.
So what can we learn from this Psalm about giving thanks about God’s goodness.
Thanking God does not deny the hard times that we go through.
You and I will go through hard times. You see that David went through some hard times.
1. We all go through physical hard times from enemies around you.(30:1)
2. We all go through hard times that affect your health. (30:2-3)
3. We all go through times of sorrow.
There will be people and things that will really try to bring you down. There can be things that can hurt you. But these hard times won’t stay.
STORY: You boy who was handicapped. He said that the Bible says that these things come to pass. They don’t come to stay. They come to pass. They will pass you by.
Thanking God reminds us of His power in our lives.
Psalm 30:4 tells us to remember God’s holiness by giving thanks. What does that me? It means that when we take time to thank God for the good and the bad times, we remind ourselves of how powerful God is. We need to take times in our lives and reflect on the fact that God is bigger than we are. He is stronger than we are. We can’t do it all by ourselves. Sometimes, we need a reminder of that. Sometimes it takes a hardship for us to really accept the holiness of God. Job had to go through that. David had to go through it.
Thanking God requires times of sorrow and times of joy.
This is where the idea of the modern Thanksgiving celebration comes in. In the Old Testament, the Jews had the Succoth festival. They would spend time praying to God, and then enjoying the harvest that God provided. Because in those days, you were dependant on your conditions for survival. If no rain came, you would starve. So, when the harvest came, you thanked God because you knew He provided it.
The same was true with those first settlers who came to America. Here is the story:
For those who will ask, here is a simple history of the idea of Thanksgiving and its origins:
There were two festivals as a result. A time of prayer and fasting, and a time of feasting. But as time went on, the fasting part went away. The people continued to have Thanksgiving, but it was more the feasting type. That is not a bad thing. But we have to remember, that it is God who brings us the joy in our lives. Psalm 30:11 tells us that God turns our sorrows into dancing. He makes us leave the hardships behind and lets us point heavenward in joy.
HOW CAN YOU GIVE THANKS TO GOD ABOUT HIS GOODNESS?
1. You can do it privately.
Make a list every morning of what you are thankful to God for.
2. You can do it publicly.
This is what we are doing today. This is what many people do in countries around the world (Example: Canada, Korea, Germany, USA).
ACTIVITY: Ask people to take two minutes and tell someone else what they thank God for.