November 12, 2015
“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8.We learn at a young age to say “Thank you” for simple things like a cookie or a toy. Hopefully gratitude becomes a habit that carries over into our adult life. Children aren’t always truly thankful and often feel they deserve a gift given to them, but still they need to learn to say those words of thanksgiving. So do Christians. We should never take God’s love for granted. Do you ever tell Him “Thank You”? King David wrote “…It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high:” Psalm 92:1. That almost seems like an understatement. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord. It is a very, very, very good thing. God gives us the air we breathe, the water we drink, sunshine, jobs, food…everything comes from Him. He gave us our salvation. As His children, we need to thank Him more and complain less. “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 150:6.
David knew how to praise God and the psalms are filled with gratitude for all He provides. You might think it was easy for David to be thankful because he was a king, but he had many troubles and fell short of honoring God many times. King Saul wanted to kill him, his children were rebellious, he fought many battles with men and giants, and then there was that adultery incident where David made sure the woman’s husband died in battle. That doesn’t sound like a poster boy for honoring God! David was human and had troubles just like we do today, but he always went to God for forgiveness and with praise. Many of the Psalms he wrote are filled with thanksgiving and praise. One of the most joyous psalms is the one he wrote after bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. “So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 16:1-2. First David honored God with various offerings, then he blessed the people, then appointed men to minister before the Ark. worshipping God. “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:” 1 Chronicles 16:4. It would be wonderful to have a government leader who honored God Almighty and blessed the people. Then David gave a psalm of thanks to Asaph. “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.” 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 and Psalm 105:1-2. As Christians we need to follow David’s example of honoring God and being filled with thankfulness and praise. How often do you thank God for His blessings?
“O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Psalm 30:3-4. David looked forward to the coming Messiah and sang praises to the LORD…to Yĕhovah, the Existing One. David praised Him because He brought his soul up from shĕ’owl, that is the abode of the dead, the grave. Christians today look back to the cross and we have so much to rejoice over, to be thankful for, and to sing praises about. The grave has no hold upon us. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55. Praise God! Praise our Lord Jesus Christ who took away the sting of death and conquered the grave when He arose victorious on the third day after His crucifixion. When a Christian dies there is no death. We slip from this mortal life and our soul is immediately with our Lord. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8. Thank You, Jesus, for this wonderful gift.
How many times have you been talking with a friend or a co-worker and hear them say “Thank god” for one thing or another? Do you ever ask them which god they are thanking? If they are a Christian, then maybe they truly are thanking God, but most people say “thank god” just as a phrase with no meaning. Christians have so much to be thankful for and should truly thank God for everything. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6. Have you thanked Him for your salvation? Not with an off-hand “thank god” but with true thankfulness which comes from the depth of your soul.
Life can get overwhelming sometimes and it is easy to not feel very thankful for anything. When the money runs out before the bills are paid or maybe you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease. Those are the times when we need to keep God’s praises upon our lips. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.The Christians in Thessalonica faced hard times and persecution for their faith. This was a time when Christians were thrown to the lions for entertainment and many other horrors were commonplace. Today the persecution of Christians who live in Muslim countries is similar to the persecution of those early Christians, and it is spreading. Did Paul really mean to be thankful for these trials? Actually he said “in” everything give thanks, not “for” everything. Certainly we cannot be thankful when cancer is diagnosed, or someone else gets that big promotion, or a fellow Christian is beheaded because of their faith in Jesus. In these trials we still need to thank God and sing His praises. He will take you through troubles and be your strength when you are weak. That’s something to be thankful for. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” Colossians 1:12-14. No matter what befalls a Christian, we can be thankful for our salvation. We have an inheritance that is eternal and have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Thank God.
God has never wanted to be separated from us, but sin did just that. Separation from God is a lonely, dark, and empty place to be. He gave the Law to Moses as the first step in solving the separation problem. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:24-25. There were many sacrifices under the Law which covered sin, but sin was never taken away by these sacrifices. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary can take sin away. Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus brings redemption. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10. Thank God! Truly, thank God!! He fulfilled the Law, so when we accept Him as our once for all sacrifice we are no longer under the Law. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15. The animal sacrifices no longer have meaning, but we should always bring the sacrifice of praise before Him. He sacrificed everything for us. We can think about it and ponder on it, but we will never fully understand what our salvation cost our Lord. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 6:21. How can you not be thankful for what He did for you? God almighty became human and gave His life to purchase our salvation. Thank You, my precious Lord.
Like King David before us we need to sing praises to God. Like Paul we need to give thanks in all things whether being thrown in prison, beaten, or just having a bad day. What He did for us we couldn’t do for ourselves. If that isn’t worth our gratitude and praise I don’t know what is. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.“Hebrews 12:2.
Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham