It’s been one week since Thanksgiving. On that day I am sure you took time to thank God for all His blessings. But doesn’t God do wonderful things for us all year. Shouldn’t we thank Him more than just once a year. The idea of “once a year” thanksgiving reminds me of an incident with my son.
Our son, Joshua, notices things that others overlook. He has many time surprised us with some great insight and also some embarrassing observations. In our home we have prayer before we eat dinner. I’m sure to a hungry child it can seem like an unnecessary delay. So Josh asked question. He asked, “When we come home from the grocery, and all the food is sitting on the counter waiting for us to put it away, why don’t we thank God for all the food and we won’t have to pray before every meal?” We had to explain that we thank God every meal because we are thankful at every meal. I think that Thanksgiving should be an attitude we have all year – not just once a year.
What are you thankful for? In case you are short of ideas, if you will read Psalm 136 you will see some inspired reasons we have as God’s people to give Him thanks.
Psalm 136 is a unique psalm for several reasons. The first thing most people notice is that every verse repeats the phrase “his mercy endureth for ever.” This is called an antiphonal psalm, where the worship leader would read or sing the first phrase of the verse and the congregation or choir would respond with “his mercy endureth for ever.”
But Psalm 136 is also significant in that it lists a number of things for which God’s people can be thankful. The focus is on giving thanks for who God is and what God has done for His people.
1 – God is Creator; He brings forth (v. 1-9)
The Lord alone is the One who made everything out of nothing. He had the wisdom to plan creation and the power to execute His plan. All He had to do was speak the Word.
Thank God for Nature!
2 – God is Redeemer; He brings us out (v.10-12)
The Lord brought Israel out of Egyptian slaver by the blood of thousands of lambs. The Lord has delivered Christians from the slavery of sin by the blood of His Son.
Thank God for the Cross!
3 – God is Shepherd; He brings us through (v. 13-16)
The Lord led Israel through the Red Sea, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. The Lord is the Christian’s Shepherd and will lead us in life and into Heaven.
Thank God for Guidance!
4 – God is Conqueror; He brings us in (v. 17-22)
The Lord gave Israel victory over all their enemies and gave them blessings in their inherited land. The Lord enables Christians to walk by faith and defeat Satan in a victorious life.
Thank God for Victory!
5 – God is Deliverer; He brings us back (v. 23-25)
Though Israel experienced failure, the Lord did not fail Israel. The Lord’s mercy will never fail. His mercy endures forever.
Thank God for His Mercy!
Psalm 136 begins and ends with thanksgiving. It begins, “O Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.” It ends, “O give thanks unto the God of heaven.” And in between it gives us all these reasons to give God thanks. Like the song says, there’s “10,000 reasons for my heart to find” to bless and thank the Lord! What are your reasons to thank God this Thanksgiving.
In 1988 a Polish railway worker named Jan Grzebski was hit by a train. He lived, but barely. For the next 19 years he was in a coma and awoke in 2007. He awoke to a whole new world. Nineteen years earlier, Poland was a communist state. Meat was rationed, long lines at every gas station, and only tea and vinegar in the shops. Nineteen years later he awoke to a free nation where people had cell phones and much food and merchandise in the shops. But he said, “What amazes me is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and yet they never stop moaning.” These people had freedom, food and wealth greater than Poland had for decades, yet Grzebski woke from his coma to find that all they seemed to want to do was grumble! If you don’t get into the habit of thanking God for what you do have, you will soon become ungrateful because of what you don’t have.
Take time right now to thank God for His blessings!