As we approach the holiday season, our minds turn to thoughts of our many blessings . . . or at least they should. When we turn on the news or listen to conversations around us, it doesn't seem like there's much to be thankful for. Wars. Layoffs. Economic crises. Violence. Greed. The world is becoming a very dark place, and in that darkness it becomes easy to forget how good God has been to us. Just like the children of Israel in Psalm 107, we gripe and complain about how bad things are and neglect to praise God for how He has blessed us. But in that blessed Psalm, God gives us four reminders of why we should be thankful.
1. He leads us in the way we need to go. - vs. 7
If we are faithful to follow the Lord's leading, we will stay in His will. If we are in His will, then all will be well. Does that mean no bad things will happen? No, but it means we will have peace knowing that we are where God wants us to be.
2. He brightens our days. - vs. 14
Ever feel like you're surrounded by darkness? Ever feel like there's no light to be found? I have, but the truth is Jesus is the Light. He can brighten even our darkest days if we'll allow Him to. Spend a few minutes with Him and see if you don't notice a ray of light on the horizon.
3. He speaks to us - vs. 20
What a privilege to know that the God of this world takes time to speak to His children! He has given us His Word as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. He speaks to us through messages and songs. He nudges our hearts and whispers to us in His still, small voice. God still speaks. The question is, "Are we listening?"
4. He calms either our storms or our souls - vs. 29
The McKameys sing a song entitled "Sometimes He Calms Me." The message of the song is that sometimes it is God's will for us to go through a storm, but during those times in which He will not calm the storm, He can calm us. He gives us sweet peace to make it through the trial. He knows what we need, and as much as we don't like it, sometimes we need the storms. But even during those times, we need to not stress, for God can calm our troubled hearts.
I encourage you to take time to read through this entire Psalm, but if nothing else, meditate on these four points. God deserves our thankfulness. He deserves our praise. Whether we praise Him through the sunshine or praise Him through the storm, let's remember to give all glory to Him for He alone is worthy!
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindess of the LORD. - Psalm 107:43