Originally published Saturday, 08 November 2014.
Turkey, parades, football, family traditions, feasts, and the unforgettable pumpkin pie consume us this time of year. In pausing to share our gratitude and celebrate family and friends, I would like to offer a Biblical recipe for a thanksgiving feast of the heart. This one will not cause you to move your belt to the next notch or run to the gym, but might necessitate moving comfort zones or running hard after God’s heart in a way in which you thought only fanatical Christians, or Bible-time-believers did. Feel free to not limit your portion sizes here, but rather feast on God’s word and the joy of unbridled obedience to the One who alone is worthy of praise.
1. Heartfelt Confession:
In Psalm 106, confession for sin is made on behalf of the psalmist and of his nation and forefathers. This Thanksgiving season can commence with repentance and confession. Notice the specific confession versus blanket requests for forgiveness.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
2. Powerful Prayer:
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare his praise? Psalm 106:1-2
Psalm 106 seems to parallel 136 in that the former showed the sin of man and the justice and mercy of God, while the later praises the eternal and enduring love of God. Both document points in Israel’s history where God led his people out of exile in Egypt and gave them victory over their enemies by miraculous signs and wonders for the glory of His Name. In our present and past circumstances we can list the errors of our way. Regardless if our sin occurred in times of abundance, want, blessing, or trial. During each and every season of our life, no matter our behaviors,God has been good. To be contrary to good is against God's character.
Read these two chapters in Psalms back to back. See how God’s hand worked good in every circumstance. Consider how God has worked good in your circumstances this year.
God’s love endures forever. Let’s pray that our spiritual eyes will see his love and goodness. That our tongues in turn would praise Him for the works He has done. That our hearts would choose to trust Him even when we don’t understand His ways.
When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. Psalm 106:7
When we neglect to remember God’s goodness we consequently neglect to praise Him and thank Him. This breeds a heart of discontentment.
We are commanded to thank God multiple times in the Bible. In Psalm 136 alone we are commanded four times and then given specifics as to what to thank Him for and why. Use Psalm 136 as a prayer of thanksgiving to God and then add specifics relevant to your journey in 2014.
1. Combine all of the above.