Every Day is Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Every Day! By Tom Dole Christian Life Center Church Roseburg, Oregon Psalm 30:11-12 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; Sackcloth is a coarsely woven fabric, usually made of goat's hair. In some Christian traditions, the wearing of hair shirts continues as a self-imposed means of mortifying the flesh. Mortification of the flesh is an act by which an individual or group seeks to mortify, or put to death, their sinful nature, as a part of the process of sanctification. 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever. This brings me to my title for this lesson: Thanksgiving Every Day! You may be seated The opening verses said to “not be silent” in our praise. Our gratitude should always be expressed: -Have you thanked your parents for all the loving, selfless things that they have done for you throughout your life? -Have you expressed your thanks to the person who brought you to the Lord? -How often do you thank your pastor for feeding you spiritual food? -Have you thanked that teacher that long ago inspired you to be the best you could be? -Have you thanked your spouse every time he/she has done something loving for you? David was going through what was likely the absolute worst time in his life. He felt lost and without hope. David feared he was going to die…out of favor with God. You see… David had sunk very low. His life signs were feeble. His foes were all but gloating over his imminent demise. Then he cried out to the LORD in his extremity and the Lord answered by bringing him back from the brink. It was a narrow escape from the dissolution of Sheol, a close call from going down to the grave. Psalm 30:1-4 King James Version (KJV) 30 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. Imagine how David felt when he was reconciled with the Lord! Now, he can praise the Lord in life, “my glory may sing praise to thee.” To not, and again I quote, “lie silent in the grave.” David committed to praising and thanking God, forever. “I can never forget what the Lord has done for me, and I’ll never cease to thank Him for it.” ''You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.'' It is a heartfelt thanks like this that can convert an adulterer and murderer into “a man after God’s own heart.” God has given us David’s example not only for us to admire but to follow as well! Instead of constantly grumbling about our circumstances, God wants us to radiate with thanksgiving. Instead of silently taking for granted all of God's goodness, we are to overflow with gratitude…just like David did. Would you say those verses reflect your life and attitude right now? It's rare you meet someone that displays this often, isn't it? All you have to do is to look at the faces of people driving in car. They don't seem happy do they. So, how can we be happier. The Lord knows what is best for us. He really does. God doesn’t merely suggest that we give thanks…we are commanded to give thanks. You see, a grateful person will be a happier, healthier, and a holier person. Most importantly, it is actually a sin not to be grateful and not to give thanks. Now get this…we are not to be Thankful in the good times. We must be thankful during life’s difficulties as well. Be thankful in everything! Paul had been run out of Thessalonica at the threat of losing his life. He had been beaten, whipped, imprisoned, shipwrecked, stoned, and left for dead. Yet he said, ''In everything give thanks.'' Listen closely to this…Paul, in describing a lost world, said in Romans 1:21, Amplified Bible (AMP) 21 For even though [a]they knew God [as the Creator], they did not [b]honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. You are never more like a lost man, an unbeliever, than when you are ungrateful. The best way to ensure you don’t leave anything out is to express your thanks immediately. When you eat…give thanks. When you get a raise at work…give thanks. When you complete trip safely…give thanks. When you drink a glass of water…give thanks. What give thanks even for the water we drink? According to Science Daily, “Water scarcity is the lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. It already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.” Yes, give thanks in everything. I need to point out that I said give thanks in everything, not for everything. We shouldn’t be thankful for troubling circumstances, but we are to be thankful during trouble. 2 Corinthians 4:15 says, 15 “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” Everything that happens to you also happens for you. For this reason, always give thanks in every situation. No matter how bad an event, in your life, may seem to you, God wants to use that tribulation in your life to move you to thanksgiving. Here is a good example how one might be thankful during trouble: Matthew Henry, the famous Bible teacher, was once accosted by thieves and robbed of all his money. He wrote these words in his diary: ''I am so very thankful. First, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life. Third, because although they took everything I had, it wasn't very much. Fourth, it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.'' Pastor James Merritt wrote: Do you thank Him in the bad times as well as in the good? Do you thank Him in the midst of trouble as you do in the midst of triumph? We thank Him for sun Do you thank Him for rain? We thank Him for joy Do we thank Him for pain? We thank Him for gains Do we thank Him for losses? We thank Him for blessings Do we thank Him for crosses? Colossians 3:17 King James Version (KJV) 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Verse 17 is our report card that we can use to judge our conduct as Christians. We shouldn’t just give thanks through a daily prayer. We are to give our Lord thanks in everything. It is a perpetual requirement for those saved by grace and destined for heaven. Thank you Lord for your Word… showing us how to act and clarifying for us how we can spend an eternity with you in paradise. Amen. It is easy to remember to thank the Lord for the big miracles in our life. But, what about the seemingly small miracles. We need to thank our Lord in everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 5:18 Giving thanks to God should be the Christian’s native emotion. We should be able to give thanks to the Lord at all times, in all circumstances, and in everything. If any country should be thankful to God and Thankful for all He is, it ought to be the United States. Of all people in America, Christians ought to be thankful to God and grateful for all that He is. If any group of Christians ought to be thankful to God and grateful for all that He is, it ought to be all Christians who know the truth of His goodness and love. We must have an attitude of gratitude in everything! Psalm 30:1–4 teaches us first of all to extol the LORD with undiluted thanksgiving for the return of good health. Need more to be Thankful for? Hebrews 8:12 King James Version (KJV) 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. I am so thankful to live under the dispensation of “grace,” rather than that of the law. Now, we are promised “mercy” for an unrighteous act and eternal forgetfulness of our sins. Hebrews 2:2 King James Version (KJV) 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; Prior to this dispensation of grace, the law was inflexible and unbending: “Every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment.” Certainly, the eternal forgiveness of our sins is something for which we should thank the Lord… forever. If we repent, He is faithful to forgive our sins. Isn't this preferable to the law and an “eye for an eye mentality.” Thank you Jesus. We love you. Praise the Lord! Think back to the worst thing you have done in your life. We don't need to continually torture ourselves with guilt when we sin. If we are baptized and repent for our sins, God will remember our sins no more...even the worst of our transgressions. Don’t we truly have so much to be thankful for? Jesus, we are so thankful today and every day for all of your grace and mercy. Lord we love you and we thank you. Amen Romans 5:20-21 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. The Word is telling us that, “God’s grace is greater than all man’s sin. Where sin abounded, God’s grace at Calvary abounded much more! Thank you Jesus for your grace…Praise the Lord! I haven't been in the church for my entire adult life. Suffice it to say…I had a lot that I needed to repent for before being baptized. Therefore, given my sins when I was younger and not in church, I received an abundance of grace. This is nothing to be proud of; rather this is a gift to be thankful for. Clearly, we shouldn't sin to receive more grace from our Lord and Savior. As a matter of fact: Romans 6:1 asks: 6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Certainly not, Romans 6 goes on to detail many reasons why one must not go on sinning so grace will abound. If we continue to sin purposely, we aren't truly repenting when we ask for forgiveness…are we? Without true repentance there is no forgiveness. And, if one makes a conscious choice to continue sinning, are they actually saved in the first place? Let’s shift gears a bit. My wife and I were on a strict diet, we’ve tried many. Well, we sat down at the table for a meatless meal, all steamed and all green. I looked at what was before me and said, ''You say the blessing sweetheart. If I thank the Lord for this He'll know I'm lying!'' The Lord brought me a wonderful wife, and I thank God for her every day. Next week is Thanksgiving week. A week sanctioned and scheduled by the government. But there is a divinely scheduled Thanksgiving Day. Does anyone know when it is? It's today-and tomorrow, and the next day. Daniel 6:20 says, ''Daniel was on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God.'' Everyday was Thanksgiving for Daniel and should be for us as well. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln established a national day of Thanksgiving on the fourth Tuesday of November. President Roosevelt later on moved it to the fourth Thursday of November. What was going on at that time? Civil war. Abraham Lincoln was well known for his bouts of severe depression…yet he established this national day. Jesus, we are so very thankful that you paved the way for us to join you in paradise for eternity…thank you. Amen. Psalm 50:23 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. The Psalm closes with a warning and a promise. The warning is to those who forget God, living as if He doesn’t matter. If they do not repent, God will pounce on them like a lion and utterly destroy them. But those who come to Him with sacrifices of thanksgiving glorify Him; all who walk in this pathway of obedience will experience God’s marvelous deliverances in times of peril. 1 Corinthians 1:4 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; If we were to really think and meditate on our eternal destination without being saved through Christ, we might be more thankful for the salvation that we do have. As Christians, it is possible to forget that we have a secure salvation. Keeping that in mind…Everyday is Thanksgiving.