A Sunday School teacher asked her class what they were thankful for at Thanksgiving. A little girl said “I’m thankful for my bedroom. My younger brothers have to share a room. But I get to have a room all for myself! I thank God for my bedroom!” Next, a little boy said, “I’m thankful for my puppy. I got him as a present for my birthday, and I play with him every day. I thank God for my puppy.” Another boy thought for a moment and said “I’m thankful I’m not a turkey.”
Psalm 100 has been called the Thanksgiving Psalm.
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” – Psalm 100
In Psalm 100 we discover some principles of being thankful.
- Thankfulness is for everyone – “all ye lands” (v. 1)
- Thankfulness involves happy singing – “gladness… singing” (v. 2)
- Thankfulness is directed to God – “know ye that the Lord he is God” (v. 3)
- Thankfulness is a correct response to getting close to God – “enter into his gates with thanksgiving” (v. 4).
In Psalm 100:5 we are reminded why we should be thankful. It all centers on some attributes of God.
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” – Psalm 100:5
We should be thankful because God is good.
God is a good God. The fact that God is good means that He has no evil in Him. His intentions and motivations are always good. He always does what is right and the outcome of His plan is always good.
When I look at my family, my country, my health, my church, my community, I realize that God has been so good to me.
But sometimes life isn’t good. Everything God made was originally good. But why do we have evil? It appears that God allowed evil to give angels and people a choice between good and evil. Evil is the absence of goodness – it is whatever God is not. Even when mankind chose evil, God continued to show His goodness by His plan to redeem us – the Gospel – the good news. He sent His good Son, Jesus, to become the sacrifice so we could be forgiven of our sins.
Thank God for His goodness.
We should be thankful because God is merciful.
Grace and Mercy. Grace is receiving from God good that we don’t deserve. Mercy is not receiving bad from God that we do deserve. Understanding mercy is often difficult for some people. Many have developed a nature of criticism and want others to get what is coming to them. However, God is merciful to even the worst of offenders. This means even though He knows of our guilt, He doesn’t always issue the punishment we deserve. In fact, He has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven through our acceptance of Jesus Christ – even though we don’t deserve it.
One of the problems of our society is we are lenient of our own faults but harsh on the faults of others. We excuse what we do, but magnify the errors of others. Our attitude toward others is often worse than the error of those we criticize. That is why Jesus encouraged us to pull out the beam from our own eye before we point out the speck in our brother’s eye. God is merciful and wants us to show mercy.
Thank God for His mercy.
We should be thankful because God is true.
Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” If there is one attribute that we want in others, it is to tell the truth. God always tells the truth. Since He knows all things exhaustively, we can trust anything He has revealed in Scripture. Truth is not defined by our own standards, but by the Source of truth Himself.
Some think that truth is subjective. Sift through your favorite social media feed and you will discover how diverse people’s views of the world and truth really are. It’s always been that way. The strange thing is that there actually is only one truth, one reality, despite what so many believe. By its definition a truth is true, and it’s always true. Don’t confuse perspective from truth. Perspective allows us to see from a certain point of view. My perspective is my own but it doesn’t mean it’s true. Perspective can change your opinion, but it can never alter truth. Truth remains true regardless of spin, manipulation, popularity, or culture. Regardless of what anyone proposes, we can know the truth as God tells it.
Thank God for His truth.
We should be thankful because God is faithful.
“The only thing constant is change” is a quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus. He captures what we notice more often in society and that is that everything is changing. It is not just the world but our own life is changing. Things aren’t what they used to be. This reality drives us to seek stability… to hang on to something that won’t change with the times. God is faithful, dependable, and consistent. Specifically Psalm 100:5 tells us that God’s mercy and God’s truth do not change.
One of the greatest causes of emotional problems is the experience of rejection. One Christian psychologist claims that he has never had a patient in his office who suffers from emotional problems that has not had a severe situation of rejection from parents, spouse, or friends. The sad reality is that people will disappoint you. People will change. But God never will.
God is faithful; He does not change. If God’s mercy was not eternal, you would have no guarantee that He wouldn’t change His mind and not be merciful in 1,000 years. If God’s truth was not eternal, you wouldn’t be able to trust that He wouldn’t go back on His Word and send you to Hell after 1,000 years in heaven. But because God’s mercy and truth and forever, you can find security in His eternal forgiveness and His promise of eternal life.
Thank God for His faithfulness.
Please take a few moments today to simply thank God for His goodness, His mercy, His truth, and His faithfulness.
If you have not received Jesus as your own personal Savior, I hope you will allow His mercy to forgive you of your sin.