We greet you with that old-time greeting: The Lord bless you and make you a blessing.
Today our meditation is along the line of thanksgiving, and I found a little poem by L. A. Tubbs that really took hold of my heart, it’s so true. He says:
I’ve been countin’ up my blessin’s,
I’ve been summin’ up my woes,
But I ain’t got the conclusion some would naturally suppose:
Why, I quit a-countin’ troubles,
For I had half a score,
While the more I count my blessin’s,
I keep a-finding more and more.
There’s been things that wan’t exactly as I thought they’d ought to be,
An’ I’ve often growled at Providence for not a-peppin’ me!
But I hadn’t stopped to reckon what the other side had been—
How much o’ good an’ blessin’ had been thickly crowded in.
Fer there’s been a rift o’ sunshine after every shower o’ tears,
An’ I’ve found a load o’ laughter scattered all along the years.
If the thorns have pricked me sometimes,
I’ve good reason to suppose
Love has hid’em often from me,
‘Neath the rapture of the rose!
So I’m goin’ to still be thankful fer the sunshine an’ the rain,
Fer the joy that’s made me happy, fer me purgin’ done by pain.
Fer the love o’ little children; fer the friends that have been true,
Fer the guidin’ hand that’s led me every threatenin’ danger through!
Now I wonder if we can’t just bow our heads together and have a prayer of real thanksgiving. You’ll pray with us, won’t you? Our Father God, we thank Thee for all Your mercies and blessings, for the strength You have given to bear the burdens of the way. We do thank Thee for faithful friends that have made life brighter, and for life itself with its wonderful opportunities for service and worship, for our material comforts, and the measure of freedom that we enjoy in this wonderful land of plenty.
But most of all, our Father God, we thank Thee for the gift of Thy Son, and spiritual blessings that are ours through His sacrifice. For the joy and peace we have through fellowship with Him, for the fruits of the Spirit through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
For all this rich heritage, we offer up praise and thanksgiving. Now we bring to Thee the needs of some of these, some that are listening in. Some have lost the sense of Thy presence. God, restore unto them the joy of salvation. And these that do not know Thee, we add our prayers to the prayers of their loved ones for their salvation. For those that are suffering, we pray Thou wilt touch with Thy life, restore them to health. For each one that’s listening this moment, we pray Thy blessing according to their peculiar need. With grateful hearts we thank Thee for the privilege of prayer and sweet communion with Thee. For all this, our hearts are grateful, Lord, in Jesus’ precious name.
You know, I was reading and have been studying some of these wonderful passages about praise, but I think that my favorite is Psalm 50:23, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God.”
This could be rendered, “Whoso sacrificeth thanksgiving glorifieth me.” From the latter part of that verse it just seems like David wanted to do something great for the glory of His name. But here we see that the offering of praise glorifies the Lord.
So if you feel like you haven’t been able to do something big for the Lord, why, you just begin to praise Him, and that glorifies Him more than anything else. You begin to praise Him and then there comes a rift through dark clouds of difficulty and trouble that you’re going through.
God’s Word says that when they began to sing and to praise the Lord, that they set ambushments against the enemy. (2 Chronicles 20:22) Now as we begin praising Him, if we have not begun before, He will begin to work wondrously in your life. Many times the Lord can’t begin to work while we keep pleading and praying, but if you’ll just turn the current towards praise instead, He’ll make us more than conquerors over the difficulty. (Romans 8:37)
By the help of God you’ll decide to take the attitude of victory and just praise Him for the victory beforehand. God is going to work! I know, because I so many times have gotten down in a hard place and pled and prayed, but when I began to praise the Lord by faith, then came the victory!
I wonder if you’ve been complaining and murmuring instead of having a grateful spirit and praising the Lord? Remember what happened to the children of Israel when they murmured.
A man said to a friend of ours the other day, “I stay at the clubhouse more and more because my wife goes around mumbling her complaints and I get so tired of hearing her complain.” Yet you know that very woman was doing certain service for the Lord in her church. But she wasn’t serving with gladness, and only joyful service is acceptable to the Lord. God’s Word says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) No wonder such a woman is worn out all the time: her own spirit of complaining saps her vitality.
God’s Word tells us: “God hath anointed him above his fellows with the oil of gladness.” (Psalm 45:7) Well, that same oil is for us. Does your spirit show and your face advertise that you have been thus anointed? That same oil is for you.
Again God’s Word tells us He will give “beauty for ashes and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; and you shall be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3) Now that’s a wonderful verse. That’s a marvelous verse!
Do you have a spirit of heaviness today? God waits to give you gladness, if you’ll take up the garments of praise and just begin to thank Him for what He is and what He’s done for you. He begins to work for you when you begin to praise Him.
You say you don’t feel like praising Him? Well, praise Him by faith alone and you’ll soon feel like praising Him, if you’ll do that. God’s Word says in Deuteronomy 28:47 and 48: “Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger and in thirst and in nakedness, and in want of all things.”
You’ll notice that although the word praise or thanksgiving isn’t mentioned, that that’s exactly what it’s covering here, and God makes it very plain that they failed to serve the Lord in that manner, although He had provided all kinds of good things for them. He’d be obliged to teach them a severe lesson and take the good things from them, because they didn’t have a thankful spirit!
God help you, dearly beloved, this Thanksgiving, to have truly a praiseful spirit, and He’ll prove to you that He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.