This Thanksgiving season, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 100 and finding much encouragement through its basic truths. With Larry’s surgery this past Saturday and these days of waiting for further test results, the Lord has used this Psalm to remind me that the most important time to count blessings is during the difficult times. God remains the same in all seasons, and Psalm 100:3 tells us three truths about God that thankful people continually acknowledge.
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
1. Thankful people trust in God’s sovereignty.
A dear pastor friend in another state called a few days ago to tell me he was praying for our son Larry and our family. I missed his call, but he made a statement on my voice mail that has helped me tremendously. “I don’t always understand our God,” he said—and then quickly added, “but I always trust Him.”
Psalm 147:5 reminds us, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” God loves us and understands everything about us. We can trust His sovereign power.
2. Thankful people acknowledge God as their Creator.
God created us, and He is the only one who has the power to sustain us. “For by him were all things created…and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). Unthankful people easily quit, but thankful people keep their hand to the plow and look to the Lord to sustain them as they serve Him.
It is God’s nature to care for us whom He has created. “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4).
3. Thankful people remember that we are His people.
God loves us more than we could ever possibly comprehend. I think every father can understand when I say that I wish it were me who had needed the tumor removed, rather than my son. God’s love for us as His people is infinitely greater than a father’s love for his son. We are His people, and He loves and cares for us.
God’s will for each of His children is that we would give thanks in everything: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Even when we are bombarding Heaven with our needs, God instructs us to couple our prayers with thanksgiving: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps the greatest joy that thankful people find is immediate entrance to the throne of grace when they “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise…” (Psalms 100:4). In God—our sovereign, sustaining, loving God—we find much for which to be thankful!