Giving Thanks to God
We just finished celebrating another Thanksgiving. Today’s message asks: how many of you are thankful for the Lord? We ought to all be thankful for our God!
The key verse:
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High – Psalm 92:1 NKJV
David, our writer of this psalm, proclaims that it is a “good thing” to give thanks unto God. Note: David does not say it’s a bad thing, nor does David say it is a waste of time; it is a good thing to give thanks unto God. We just finished celebrating another Thanksgiving and I must ask, how many of you are thankful for the Lord? We ought to all be thankful for our God! Today’s sermon will focus on three reasons as to why we should be thankful for our God.
The results for being ungrateful
The first reason to why we should be thankful is because there’s a very sad and tragic result to not being thankful – being ungrateful. As children, we were taught on how to be polite to others; we learned to say both please and thank you. As a result of saying please and thank you, being polite, we learned that others would be more willing to help and do things for us in the future. We also learned that there was another result for not being polite, saying please and thank you; we learned that nobody likes an ungrateful individual!
As is tradition, I like to watch Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving when it comes on TV for the holiday. If you’ve never watched the holiday classic, I will give you a quick rundown of what happens. Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown and invites herself to a Thanksgiving meal that Charlie Brown was never having. She ends up not only inviting herself but also inviting a couple of her friends to a meal that was never planned. Charlie Brown and Snoopy end up preparing a meal of buttered toast and pop corn – that’s all they had. Patty gets there and ends up being ungrateful for what Charlie Brown and Snoopy had prepared to eat – she complains, shouts, and fuss. Charlie Brown ends up just walking away from all of her yelling.
How often will do you something for someone that has a history for being ungrateful for things that you have done for them? There’s a really good chance that you’re not going to bother with that person, right? I know I certainly would not. Let’s ask that question again, but let’s turn it around spiritually. How often do you think the Lord will do for those that are ungrateful for all of the things that He’s done for them? Can’t imagine that the Lord shows favor to those that are not grateful for all of His blessings.
There are many people living today that are ungrateful for all the things that God has done for them. We as believers look at those that are ungrateful for God’s blessings and we think to ourselves, they don’t thank God but are somehow still “blessed” or still happy? You see, we think that they are blessed because they appear to be happy. However, are they really happy? Are they really blessed?
One of the greatest blessings that man has is that we have the ability to communicate with the Lord – prayer. Do you really believe that those that are ungrateful are praying to the Lord? Those that are ungrateful most likely have no prayer life with the Lord. Sound doctrine teaches that prayer begins with thanksgiving for all of the Lord’s works. Having no prayer life does not sound like a good thing to me! Not giving the Lord praise does not sound like a good thing to me!
A great example of not being grateful, and the result of not being grateful can be found in scripture with the story of Moses and the children of Israel in the wilderness. Moses struck a rock in the wilderness and water flowed from the rock, this happened because of God, but Moses did not give thanks to the Lord. Moses was forbidden by the Lord to enter into the Promise Land because he did not give God thanks (Numbers 20:11-12). There will come a day when those that have been ungrateful shall also not be allowed to enter into the Promise Land of Heaven. Why? Being ungrateful of the Lord is considered to be rebellious against God. Being rebellious against God is sin and sinners (rebels) will be cast away from the Lord for eternity.
It is the will of God
The second reason to why we should give thanks to God is because it is actually God’s will for us to be thankful! In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are told: in every thing give thanks … this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. You see, we live under grace, thanks be to God, and we should be very grateful for the Lord’s grace! We should be grateful that our sins have been washed away! We should be grateful that we have been cleaned by the blood of Christ! We should be grateful of our Lord yet, even with living under grace, people have the audacity to live and not be grateful?
It is the will of the Lord that our soul be filled with joy! God sent His only begotten Son so that our joy be made full! It is God’s will that we be thankful, and that we be content with His blessings! The problem that we have today is that we are not content with what God has given us. We must learn to be content! This year, I had to definitely learn how to be content with how God was moving in my life! I had to learn how to be content with where I was health wise! I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to my health, doing my cardio and lifting weights, but little did I know that I was about to go through some things! June 6th came and I found myself laying on what could have been my death bed, but God brought me out! Here I stand today, blood pressure low, and have as good a portion of health that I can have!
I hated the fact that I was suffering, but now I sit here happy that I am in the best shape I have been in, in a very long time! You see, I became content and the more content I became in the Lord’s will the better I got! Paul said, in Philippians 4:11-12, that he learned to be content! Paul said he learned how to be content with living lowly and in prosperity! One of the greatest struggles that we face is learning how to be content! We must learn how to be content, thankful, to live within God’s will and not the will of our own!
Giving credit to who its due
The last of reasons as to why we should give God the thanks: when we give thanks to God, it shows that we know from where and who our help comes from. Having a lack of gratitude for God’s grace means you’re residing in His blessings without giving the Lord credit for His blessings. There are many people who take what the Lord has given them, and they refuse to humble themselves down to give Him the credit!
Who do you think you are to take your own credit for blessings? Are you somehow a god yourself? Do you have the power to grant yourself blessings? If this was to case you should never have any burdens, worries, or struggles! However, you do have burdens, you do have worries, you do have struggles – we all do! Here is where God enters into the picture. The Lord is always working on your behalf! In every thing give the Lord thanks! In the good and the bad we should give God thanks!
David said, “it is a GOOD thing to give thanks to the Lord.” Giving thanks to God shows that you’re grateful to Him! It shows that you genuinely believe and have faith in Him! Do you understand how much more the Lord will do for you when you are grateful for His blessings? When you know that your blessings come from the Lord, and you are thankful for those blessings, you will be even happier and your joy will be more filled.
Are you thankful? Have you given God thanks? Thank the Lord for the good and even the bad. Shout praises to the Lord! He is worthy of our praise! The things that the Lord does that we can see, and all of the things He do that we cannot see, be thankful! The Lord, God, is worthy of all of our praise! Give thanks to God.