Oh, Give Thanks

PSALM 106:1 Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

This week is Thanksgiving and it is truly my favorite time of year.  One because my birthday is always within a few days of Thanksgiving and Two because this was the time of year when a majority of my family would travel from across the country to celebrate together.  We would have big dinners and experience fun times being able to see family that I did not often have a chance to see.  Now, while Thanksgiving should be a time that we all spend considering the things that we are thankful for.  But let’s be honest, 2020 has kind of put a “wet sock” on everything; the chaos, lives lost, and social justice discrepancies have sucked much of the excitement of the season out of many of us.  We are not allowed to continue our time-honored traditions, without putting others health in jeopardy of a contagious virus.  We have to make a choice, we can look at this time and be disappointed not really being as thankful as we normally are or we can remember these few things:  

  1. Praise the LORD! The Lord desires our praise because we were created to give Him praise. The Bible tells us that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3). That means he lives, abides or just hangs around praise. He looks for opportunities to hang out with those who praise Him. Check this out; where the presence of the Lord there is Liberty (2 Corinth 3:17; in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). The Bible even tells us that in His presence the enemy melts (Isa 19:1). So, if you’re looking for reasons to be thankful this week; here is one. Because we get to Praise God and receive all of the blessings that comes with it!
  2. He is good! God is so very good to each of us. Have you ever had someone be good to you? What a feeling! So, imagine the richest person in the world and the poorest person in the world both being good to you.  I would have to think that both acts of goodness would look gravely different.  We would probably lean towards the richest person’s good being better than the poorest. Well, now imagine the all-powerful; all knowing and ever-present God being good to you. His acts of goodness are so much greater than the others.  That’s who we have being good to us every day. He seeks after us, waiting to find ways to be good to us (Isaiah 30:18). What does the bible say about the word “good?”  According to many verses, good means: to be pleasant, agreeable, excellent, rich, valuable, appropriate, becoming, happy, prosperous, understanding, kind, ethical, benefit, bounty.  God is all these things in our lives. So, if you need another reason to be thankful, use this:  God is Good to Me!!!
  3. His mercy endures forever. We long for God’s Mercy and Grace.  His mercy endures throughout our entire life and beyond. God has been so merciful to us. The many things that I have done wrong, where I failed to live according to His standard; where I have hurt others; both those closest to me and those whom I did not really care about; am I’m sure you could say something similar.  If you like me know the powers of God’s mercy; mercy that allows us to be merciful to others and even more importantly merciful to ourselves. You remember that His mercy covers us completely; our every hurt, every pain, every tear and every heartbreak. God’s mercy endures; meaning that it goes well beyond expectation, it suffers patiently and long; it remains in existence even when we give up. Why does God show us such great mercy?  Because of Love (1 Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails).  If I can give you one more reason to be thankful during this season, God is enduring with you daily and He’s saturating you with Mercy and Grace.

Thanksgiving in a pandemic can be the most depressing one of our lifetimes if we allow it. However, when we remember we’ve been created to Praise; that God is Good to us and that His Mercy endures forever; we can and should be thankful.

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