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There is a story of an old preacher who pastored several churches in rural North Dakota. The people were always amazed, for no matter what the circumstances, the preacher could always find something to give thanks for. As he made his rounds one cold and snowy January morning, he was late in getting to church because of excessive snow drifts. As he began the service with prayer, the congregation was eager to see what the old preacher could come up with to be thankful for on this dismal, snowy and frigid morning. The old preacher clasped his chapped and shivering hands and prayed, “Gracious Lord we thank you that all days are not like today.”
I wholeheartedly agree with that old preacher. Somedays it is hard to find something to be thankful for. The psalmist David in Psalm 136:1-9 composed a beautiful psalm which states:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders, his love endures forever. Who by his understanding made the heavens, his love endures forever. Who spread out the earth upon the waters, his love endures forever. Who made the great lights— his love endures forever. The sun to govern the day, his love endures forever. The moon and stars to govern the night; his love endures forever...”
David goes on to recount what God has done for him and his people. As I read this passage I thought how a psalm declaring thankfulness to God might look if I composed one? Bear with me while I attempt to do this.
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever. He saved me from my sins. His love endures forever. He sent his one and only son to die in my place. His love endures forever. His only son willingly laid his life down for me. His love endures forever. He knows everything about me. His love endures forever. He has a plan and purpose for my life. His love endures forever. He has provided for my family and me. His love endures forever. When I am between a rock and hard place, He is there with me. His love endures forever. His light shines in my darkness. His love endures forever.”
If you composed a psalm of thanksgiving, what would you write? Would it be easy or hard? You might be saying “I have nothing to be thankful for. This past year has been awful. Hunger, hopelessness, cancer, death, divorce, pain, and sickness are the words that fill my mind. How can I be thankful?”
In Psalm 136 after every statement David made, he ended by declaring “…His love endures forever.” In a world where nothing stays the same, where disaster can devastate you suddenly, like a tornado; God’s love is unshakeable, unending and unchanging! His love will see you through every moment of your life. That is something to be thankful for. Start your psalm of thanksgiving today and watch your view of life change.
On a special note to those who are facing their first Thanksgiving and Christmas dealing with the loss of a dear friend or loved one. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
What a beautiful promise. Be thankful that God knows your hurt and wants to comfort you. When he comforts you turn around and comfort others in their troubles.
If you do not have a church home we invite you to join us at Ghent Baptist Church. Sunday school starts at 9:45 a.m. Our worship service starts at 10:50 a.m. We also have a Wednesday night service called Oasis at 7 p.m. This is a contemporary service open to all people. May God’s richest blessings be yours this week. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Brother Graham Reynolds is pastor of the Ghent Baptist Church in Ghent, Ky.