Faithlife Sermons

Thanks For Answered Prayer

Thanksgiving  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:39
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November: A Month For Thanksgiving

Beginning today and going through this whole month, I’d like us to focus on thanksgiving.
As a nation, we set aside the 4th Thursday of the month for a day of Thanksgiving.
Yet, thanksgiving has been around long before we were ever a nation.
Biblically, the concept of thanksgiving is the act of offering thanks or being thankful, usually to God.
Often connected to provision, deliverance or God’s character.
Like our thanksgiving, it was commonly associated with meals and worship.
So we are going to focus on Thanksgiving seen through the Psalms
One theologian has said, the Psalms “express the common experience of the human race. Composed by numerous authors, the various psalms express the emotions, personal feelings, attitudes, gratitude, and interests of the average individual. Universally, people have identified their lot in life with that of the psalmists.”
In every experience of our own, no matter how deep the pain or how great the frustration or how exhilarating the joy, we can find psalms which echo our inmost being; psalms which God uses to bring comfort or to confirm release.
The Psalms were written over an extended period of time, most probably coming between 1000 and 400 B.C.
They were written by different authors, and at several times new groups of psalms were added to the collection.
Seventy-three of the psalms were written by David.
Forty-nine are anonymous.
The psalms were used in public worship in Israel, as well as for private devotions.
They show us how intimate and free our relationship with God can be, as we share every thought and feeling with Him.
I would encourage you to read the Psalms or a portion daily as a way to praise God.

Psalm 30

Psalm 30 is a classic example of a type of praise psalm known as the psalm of thanksgiving.
It’s primary emphasis is a grateful response to God for David’s deliverance.
It has two outbursts of praise.
In between them is a confession of overconfidence and its dire results.

From Death to Life Verses 1-3

David was experiencing three problems
He felt as if he was sinking into a heavy deep mud that would take him down to the pit.
His enemies around him wanted him to die.
He was in distress from a painful illness.
God delivered him from all three!
In verse 1, he praises or lifts up the Lord up because God had lifted him up from the pit.
The phrase “lifted up” has the meaning of pulling up a bucket from a deep well.
That well was deep as death or Sheol, that deep dark cavern that the departed went.
This means that God did not allow David to die, but healed him from the sickness.
We also see that his enemies were gloating over his distress.
They wanted him to die, so they could take his throne and kingdom
The enemies were turning their noses up at him, or wagging their heads at; basically saying that he was no one at all.
In the midst of all this, David cries out for help and God heals him.
Not only was healed physically, but also spiritually.
The Hebrew word used here could mean forgiveness and spiritual restoration as well as physical healing.
He was delivered from the mental and emotional distress he was having as a result of the things going on around him.
God heard his pleas and brought him from death to life.

From Night to Morning Verses 4-5

David just praise and offer thanksgiving by himself, but he also invites the congregation to worship
David addresses them in verse 4 as the faithful ones.
This probably takes place in the temple, where he is offering a thanksgiving sacrifice.
Personal worship that doesn’t enrich our corporate worship may become selfish and lead to more pride!
The contrasts in verse 5 are the motivation for David’s praise:
From God’s anger to God’s favor;
From anger for only a moment to a lifetime of His favor or grace.
From a night of weeping to a morning of joy.
This is an excellent example of Hebrew poetry and syncretic parallelism.
For David, this was the dawning of a new day after a painful time of suffering in darkness.
Each morning, God’s mercies are new and God’s special help often arrives in the morning.
For us, the resurrection of Jesus Christ brought the dawning of a new day for all who trust in Him (Matt. 28:1).
Weeping comes as a guest, but God’s gracious favor is with us for a lifetime.
As Jesus explained to His disciples, God doesn’t replace sorrow with joy; He transforms sorrow into joy.

From Pride to Humility Verses 6-10

David’s pride that made it necessary for the Lord to discipline him.
The word in verse 6 here translated secure could also mean “Prosperity” meaning “careless ease, a carefree self-assurance because things are going so well.”
This is frequently the attitude of the unconverted, but it is a constant temptation for believers.
One reason the Lord permits trials is that we might not get comfortable in our faith and stop growing.
Job said, “I was at ease,” said Job, “I was at ease, but he shattered me; he seized me by the scruff of the neck and smashed me to pieces. He set me up as his target.”
As Warren Weirsbe said in his commentary on this Psalm “Prosperity without humility can lead to adversity.”
David’s mountain or his kingdom seemed strong, but the Lord showed David how weak he was.
He realized that it was only through God’s favor that he had enjoyed all that had given him a feeling of security.
That he did it and it was because of his leadership that led to the peace and prosperity.
But he had forgotten that when he had taken credit all to himself for his achievements, it was then that God hid His face fro David.
He was left to his own devices and that’s when the trouble came upon him.
Like David when God’s face is shining upon us, then we enjoy His rich blessings; but when we rebel, He may hide His face, and this causes trouble.
Verse 9 gives us the reasons why God should answer David’s plea
What is to gain or profit if he goes into the pit?
Will the dust praise God?
Profit is a commercial word here, and the argument is—for the moment—quite down-to-earth:
‘You will gain nothing, and lose a worshipper!’
The strength of this argument, allowing for its limited horizon, bounded by death, is that it starts from God’s interests, asking the question, ‘What glory will God have from this?’
This is the right question, though the answer is not for us to give.
Offering God reasons for a prayer to be answered, however, is not the same as bargaining.
By offering supporting reasons for the prayer to be answered, David strengthens the appeal to God’s fidelity—
God should answer the prayer precisely because David will praise God for His fidelity, something that the dust cannot do.
As we pray, come at from God’s perspective and rely on His character in making your request.
Then, in verse 10, argument is dropped, and David is simply a man in need, with only grace to appeal to.
He humbled himself and confessed his sin
Then the Lord mercifully forgave him and restored him.

From Lament To Rejoicing Verses 11-12

David returns here at the end with a praise speech directed to God.
Notice the parallelism here: lament and dancing; sackcloth and gladness; sing and not be silent
David gives credit to God who brought the joy and gladness where there was sorrow and despair.
One commentator pointed out “the verb “turned” just isn’t a simple exchange of one circumstance for another,
It is an overwhelming action bringing the defeat of the one and ascendancy of the other.”
We see a great transformation here.
David goes from a funeral to a feast as Weirsbe says.
He took the sackcloth of sadness off and put on garments of gladness.
David was singing from the depths of his experience in life.
He went from having a pity party to great celebration focused on God Himself.

How Can We Give Thanks For Answered Prayer

Pray in all circumstances
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Whether good or bad pray to God either praising for the blessing or crying out for help.
Like David, prayer according to God’s character
David prayed to be saved so he could continue to praise God which he couldn’t do if he were dead.
Think how the answer to your needs rely on God’s character and pray according.
Pray a confession of your sins
1 John 1:9
When you get the answer, praise God for it.
We often forget the answers and focus on what we didn’t get.
Realize that God hears your prayers and wants to help you.
One of the old Swedish hymns says, Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered, Thanks for what Thou dost deny! Thanks for storms that I have weathered, Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Study God’s word, do God’s word and then you will pray for the things that God wants for your life.
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