TEXT: Psalms 105:1 – “O Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.”
A man has been lost and walking in the desert for about five days. One hot day--actually, they’re all hot--he comes to the home of a preacher. Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher tells him the directions, and offers to lend him his horse to make it. The preacher says, "However, there is a special thing about this horse. You have to say ’Thank God’ to make it go and ’Amen’ to make it stop."
Anxious to get to town, the man says, "Sure, okay" and gets on the horse. He says, "Thank God" and sho ’nuff, the horse starts walking. A bit later he says louder, "Thank God, thank God," and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave, the man say, "Thank God! Thank God! THANK GOD!" and the horse is soon up to a full run!
About then he realizes he’s heading for a huge cliff and yells "Whoa!" But the horse doesn’t even slow! It’s coming up REAL QUICK and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop. "Whoa, stop, hold on!" Finally he remembers "AMEN!!!"
The horse stops a mere two inches from the cliff’s edge, almost throwing him over its head. The man, panting and heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face and leans back in the saddle. "Oh!" he says, gasping for air, "Thank God."
You see, the vast majority of humankind is naturally predisposed to be ungrateful. Paul begins his argument with these sober words: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him…” (Romans 1:21)
I don’t think we understand how serious ungratefulness to God is. Let’s look at giving of thanks in the Bible this morning.
I. FIRST, NOTICE THAT GIVING OF THANKS IS A GOOD THING.
David said in Psalm 92:1, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High.”
Why is it a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord?
• Well, from a SPIRITUAL perspective, it is an acknowledgement that God is the source of all our blessings.
James 1:17 tells us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
And in 1 Timothy 6:17, Paul instructs Timothy to charge the rich not to “trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”
How sad that all blessings come from God, yet we’re so unthankful to Him. It is good to give thanks because it reminds us of the source of all our blessings.
• From a PERSONAL perspective, thankfulness is a good thing because it makes a sad heart glad.
When we count our sorrows, we’ll be down and discouraged; but when we count our blessings, we’re reminded that truly our blessings outweigh our sorrows. And thankfulness puts our trials into perspective.
In this life, it’s certain we’ll experience trials and sufferings, but when we have a thankful heart, we’re able to keep trials in perspective.
• From a PRACTICAL perspective, gratefulness just makes you a more pleasant person to be with.
Someone has said, “Unfailing gratitude makes a human magnet out of a common personality.” Or as I often say “Some people are a blessing wherever they go, and others are a blessing WHENEVER they go.” Gratitude helps you be a blessing WHEREVER you go rather than WHENEVER you go.
So first, we see that it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.
II. SECOND, WHEN SHOULD WE OFFER THANKS?
The Bible mentions a couple of contexts in which we should give thanks. Let’s look at them.
• First, we should give thanks unto the Lord in public worship.
In our text, after telling us that to give thanks unto the Lord, the psalmist goes on to say, “…make known his deeds among…