Finding Strength by Giving Thanks
Only two cultures in the world have existed 4,000 years: the Han Chinese, who never had to leave their land; and the Jews, who miraculously survived much of their history without a country.
We can learn from our elder brothers in the faith about how to maintain faith in the midst of a culture that opposes you.
The Lord chose Abraham, knowing he would teach his children God’s promises. How faithful are we to share His Word with the next generation? We must tell them, because the world will not. There is great joy in seeing children grow up into spiritual maturity, and their children after them.
The Jewish people have also kept their culture by keeping the Sabbath—honoring God with a weekly remembrance. It begins every Friday evening as mothers light candles and pray.
Psalm 92, often attributed to Moses, is a song for the Sabbath. The psalm opens with thanksgiving:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night (vv. 1-2)
Are you discouraged? Give thanks and see what happens. Thank God for His faithfulness and the victory that is about to come. Declare His lovingkindness, and praise Him for the covenant He made in His own blood for you.
Verse 4 says,
For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work.
This is key to finding deep satisfaction—joy from seeing what God is doing. It’s why my father has always challenged me to pray, “God, can I be part of your plan?” There’s a gladness to be part of God’s purpose that will last for eternity.
Do you feel weary and dry? Verse 10 promises,
I have been anointed with fresh oil.
Every day, He will give you a fresh anointing, vision and hope.
The psalm concludes:
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age … to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him (vv. 13-15)
Think of the Jewish people singing the song of the Sabbath every week to guide them through the centuries. When looking at all the uncertainty in the world, remember—He is working, and He is faithful to see it through to completion.
So, this Thanksgiving, take time to give thanks for what God is unfolding in the world today. Our hearts can be glad because of who He is. He is using us to preach the Gospel and usher in His kingdom. In that kingdom, every day is a holiday and a Sabbath because we can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. God bless you.
Why I Give Thanks to God – Thanksgiving Devotional – Nov. 23
By Keneesha Saunders-Liddie, crosswalk.com
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34
There are times that, because of God’s extraordinary goodness, I overflow with thanks. One such time, I was about 13 years old when I got off at the wrong stop while traveling to see my aunt. It was supposed to be a simple and very short trip across the ocean, from one island to the next. But I got off at the wrong port.
At the time I didn’t realize that the island had two ports, and I picked the wrong one. It was around 3 pm in the afternoon, and everyone who disembarked with me was picked up. I didn’t think anything about it until I realized that it was about 6 pm. At the time, the little flip phone I had was unable to make calls, and I wasn’t receiving calls either.
I sat there until it was about 10 pm. I tried calling my aunt’s house several times with a payphone until I ran out of quarters. A family drove into the lot and exchanged their vehicle for another one. When the mom spotted me sitting there, she stopped the car and asked me, “Do you know where the person that was supposed to pick you up lives?”
Despite my fear and the gnawing in my belly, I decided to accept the lift. They took me straight there.
That night before I went to sleep (after being scolded by every possible family member from near and far), I thanked God for his goodness.
Anything could have happened to me. But God. I was sitting by the side of a closed building while the sun descended. It was literally a dead end, just a parking lot full of cars. And yet, God’s love is enduring. It is particular. Do you understand what that means? It means that, he loves you. And his love never ends.
All your earthly relationships, the love of your mama or husband or fiancé will never, ever be able to compare to the enduring love of God.
This is why I give thanks. When I look back on his goodness over my life that night, I have to give my God thanks and praise. I could have easily become a statistic. I would have been another unsolved murder or just disappeared without a trace, but God.
Look at your life and honestly ask yourself, “Are you truly thankful for all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do for you?” If we are honest, we know that the answer is no. Every day is a gift, an opportunity that we have been given to thank God for his goodness and his enduring love.
It pays to remember that there is none who is good and no one that seeks after God (Romans 3:10-11). This is why we shouldn’t downplay or take for granted the goodness of God. He is a good God and he alone can carry the title of good. He is the definition of the word ‘good’ and he is our father. I’m thankful for all that he has done and will continue to do, are you? Then give him the glory that is due him
The Witness of Being Thankful
From: Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — 1 CHRONICLES 16:1-36
Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
—1 Chronicles 16:8
Being thankful is a witness. In his psalms King David wanted to tell everyone how great God is! The occasion of bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem was no exception. David wanted everyone to join in the celebration of praise.
David’s psalm is long and rich. It sparks our praise for a wide variety of things:
- for God’s wonderful acts and his holy name (vv. 9-10).
- for God’s strength, “miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (v. 12).
- that God “remembers his covenant forever” (v. 15).
- for God’s protection when his people were vulnerable (vv. 19-22).
- that “splendor and majesty are before him, strength and joy are in his dwelling place” (v. 27).
The families of all nations are then invited, even commanded, to give God “the glory due his name,” to bring an offering, and to worship him “in the splendor of his holiness.”
What can you add today to this rich list of thanksgiving? A thankful heart is a testimony to the greatness of God!
David’s song closes with a prayer asking God to save. In what ways do you need saving? Jesus Christ reaches out his nail-scarred hands to deliver you from sin. That alone can bring an eternity of thanks as you receive his amazing grace.
Majestic Lord, I receive your salvation in Jesus Christ. Thank you for all the goodness you’ve poured into my life. Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Amen.
Giving Thanks: Thanking God Forever
From: Today Devotions
SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 136
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
I remember hearing this psalm as a child, and it seemed to go on forever. As I grew older, though, I realized the writer of Psalm 136 wished to show readers repeatedly that God?s ?love endures forever.?
Read and re-read this psalm as a truly attentive child of God who is daily growing to know God better. Prac?tice lectio divina (see Feb. 10) by carefully reading aloud the first part of every verse, reflecting on every phrase. The verses of Psalm 136 recall concrete examples from history in which the Lord showed his enduring love.
If you wish, look up the full report of each of those examples in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, and Judges. Then try to identify personally with as many of the instances of the Lord?s enduring love that the verses suggest to you.
Can you identify any of the Lord?s ?great wonders? that awed you? That comforted you?
Can you name a time in your life when the Lord led you ?through the desert??
As you mull over each verse and each example of God?s love, repeat the psalm?s refrain again and again. What do you think is the most fitting response to God for his enduring love in all its instances?
How can you, your family, and your community thank God for his enduring love?
Eternal God, I offer my heart thankfully for your enduring love in my life. Forgive my faulty memory. Bless me with better memories of your love. In Jesus? name, Amen.