Jake Heppner, Southbrook Baptist Church
As Americans, the holiday of Thanksgiving holds a special significance to us; our Thanksgiving holiday is a time that shares the spheres of patriotism and worship as we remember God's protections of our national forefathers and reflect on God's daily goodness and provisions to us.
President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26 of Nov. 1789 a day of "public thanksgiving and prayer" devoted to "the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be," (www.heritage.org), setting the tone for Americans to be mindful of showing worshipful gratitude.
The psalmist of Psalm 107 also contemplates the value of worshipping God using thanksgiving as one of the most important components of worship that we can meditate on this Thanksgiving season:
1. Thankful for God's redemption: vs. 1 through 3. This gratitude goes beyond thankfulness for times of ease; God remains both good and merciful even when our circumstances our sour because He has redeemed us - He has claimed us as His own, and that relationship sticks through health and illness, wealth and poverty. The price of this redemption is the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. All who call on His name to receive salvation will have it.
2. Thankful for God's deliverance: vs. 4 through 9. We are a needy people, but verse 6 testifies, "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses."
God doesn't exist merely to be our 'get out of trouble' card when we neglect Him at all other times, but He does impart strength and deliverance to His children when they come to Him. Part of our worship this season should include times when God has delivered you from illness, hazards, and other dangers.
3. Thankful to God for His long suffering: vs. 10 through 16. Many of us go through periods of rebellion and independence from God, and reap the fruit of bondage and trouble, but vs. 13 through 15 are witness that, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces. Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness..." Praise the Lord that He bears with our continuing wandering and independence from Him.
4. Thankful for spiritual healing: vs. 17 through 22. Some have lived without God for so long they forget what life was like with His influence; others have never known God's life in them and can't understand the need for God, but all of us need the spiritual healing that God's Word provides: "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness! (vs. 21)" Every human has a spiritual need that can only be met with the spiritual remedy of God's Word; it is a source we can turn to when we are rattled and pressed, and God relieves our inner needs.
If you are a worshipper of God, use this holiday season to reflect on God's daily provisions for our most significant needs: "Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing (vs. 22).