Psalm 107:1 - Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
No question -- today, at least in America, everybody ought to be thanking God. They ought to be, but many won't. Why?
It's not that we don't know how to give thanks. When we were young, we were taught to say, "thank you" for all the gifts we received, even the ones we didn't like. You remember, mom would say, "Honey, don't forget to thank auntie for your monogrammed knee socks." And if you hesitated, she gave you the look which said, "Say thank you, or you're going to have a time-out that is going to take you into your Social Security years."
No, we all teach our children to give thanks.
So, what is the problem this Thanksgiving Day? Why do people hesitate? Let's look at our verse again: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good." Maybe that's the problem. Maybe we don't believe the Lord is good. I mean, listen to the crowds after a calamity. "Why, God? Why?" is what you will hear. Do people believe the Lord is good? Many do not. Most prefer to blame Him for every problem and pain, every disappointment, distress, dissatisfaction, disenchantment, and disaster.
They may not have changed the oil in their car for 20,000 miles, but when their engine blows up, it's "Why God? Why?"
Time and again, God gets the blame. He's the fall guy; the divine scapegoat.
If you, this Thanksgiving Day, feel that God is gunning for you, then I'm here to say you are wrong. You can give thanks to the Lord, because the Lord is good. He is very good. It's part of His make-up. God couldn't be bad if you paid Him.
The problem is God is good, but we sinners aren't always able to see it.
Let me ask those of you who drive a car: how many times have you had a close call? Did you congratulate yourself for your cat-like reflexes, for your brilliance under pressure, or did you thank the Lord who is good?
Those of you who have been healthy this year, were you glad your parents gave you such healthy genes? Did you congratulate yourself on the fact that you keep yourself in grand shape? Did you think of yourself a superman, or superwoman, who was stronger than all the viruses, bacteria, and other creepy crawlies? Or did you give thanks unto the Lord who is good?
Those of you who haven't been healthy, did you thank God because things weren't worse, or because things aren't always this way?
Do you want me to go on? I can. Those of you who will be eating turkey leftovers a week from now, will you thank God for the leftovers? Or will you be complaining at having turkey one more time? O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.
And if you're still not sure about His goodness, look to the manger, the cross, and the empty tomb.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I wonder how many times a day You hear people on earth suggest they could do a better job of running the world than You do. Forgive us. Let us realize that all good gifts we have come from You, including the best gift of all, our Savior, in whose Name we pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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