Giving Thanks to God

Do you give thanks to God for everything you have?

I have been impressed over the past few weeks about how important it is that we give thanks to God for all that we have. Everything we have in our lives comes from the goodness and provision of God. I must admit that I do not always thank God for all that He has provided for me.

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This became evident to me just yesterday. I was going about my day working on the new TFL meeting space. Things seemed to be going well when I got a phone call from my wife. She and my daughter were in a traffic accident. They were traveling on Expressway Drive when another car came through an intersection and smashed into my wife’s car. Her car spun around and in the end, it was probably totaled.

Of course the first thing you think about when you get such news is about their condition. Fortunately, neither was injured. That news made me very thankful. We often hear of people who don’t walk away from these types of accidents. At this moment I was caught up with how thankful I am for my wife and my kids.

Unfortunately, I do not express my thanksgiving often enough to God for the loved ones He has given me. In fact, I don’t thank God often enough for all that He does provide. Perhaps you are in the same position as I am. We have received so much and yet give so little thanks to God.

While I was thinking about this situation, I was drawn to Psalm 136. Let’s consider this Psalm. It says:

1Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 

2Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. 

3Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: 

4To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; 

5To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; 

6To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; 

7To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever— 

8The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; 

9The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever. 

10To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; 

11And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; 

12With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; 

13To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; 

14And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; 

15But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever; 

16To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever; 

17To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever; 

18And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever— 

19Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever; 

20And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever— 

21And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever; 

22A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever. 

23Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; 

24And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; 

25Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. 

26Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136 NKJV)

The Psalm implores us to praise the Lord who performed great wonders because of His enduring loyal love. Notice that each verse ends with the refrain “For His mercy endures forever.” This phrase represents God’s loyal love in relation to His covenant faithfulness to His People (Israel)—whom He loves. Yet, it also gives us a reminder of all how thankful, as followers of Christ, we should be.

Let me simply list some of the elements of this Psalm for which we should be thankful.

  1. We should be thankful because He is good—who is good but God alone?
  2. We should be thankful because He is the God of gods—Elohim: He is the strong and mighty One.
  3. We should be thankful because He is the Lord of lords—Adonai: He is the master or sovereign One.
  4. We should be thankful because He has done great wonders—He has continued to work even among the people who have so often rejected Him.
  5. We should be thankful because through His great wisdom He made the heavens—just look at the evening sky and you will see the magnificence of all God has created (see Psalm 8).
  6. We should be thankful because He created the earth and us in it—God has given us a place to live and to flourish.
  7. We should be thankful because He created the great lights—He created the sun, the moon, and the stars—for our benefit; therefore, thank God for His creation and enjoy it.
  8. We should be thankful because He watched over Israel—He brought them to Egypt to nurture them, He brought them out of Egypt to make them His people, He demonstrated His great love and power by saving them at the Red Sea, He molded them in the wilderness, He protected them from other kings, and gave them a land of their own—we should thank God because He did all of this in preparation for a people through whom He would send His Son into the midst of mankind. Ultimately, we are compelled to thank God because He demonstrated His love toward us by sending His Son to die for us even while we were entrapped in our sin (Rom 5:8).
  9. We should be thankful because He remembers us—even in our most lowly state.
  10. We should be thankful because He rescues us from our enemies—as Israel was freed from her enemies, we have been freed from our greatest enemy, i.e. the power of sin in our lives.
  11. We should be thankful because He provides food—He provides all of our needs according to His great will (Matt 6:25-34).
  12. For all of these and so much more we give thanks to the God of Heaven!

Why should we give all thanks to God? The Psalm tells us simply that it is because “His mercy endures forever.” I encourage you right now to take a few moments to praise God (Psalm 135) and give Him thanks for His provision.

I am so thankful that God chose to protect my wife and daughter in this traffic accident. Are you continuously thanking God? I hope so.


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