A Thanksgiving Message: Counting Our Blessings
Without an equal in all of literature is the 103rd Psalm. Written by one who has had his soul stirred up to contemplate the goodness and the faithfulness of his God. How unfortunate in our world today to see generations who either take God for granted or who do not take God at all. From the beginning to the end of this matchless word, the stanzas cascade as a torrent of water in thanksgiving. Gradually acquiring strength and volume as a stream until its waves of praise swell as a sea. Within these poetic movements is the call to the daily need to "Counting Our Blessings".
The psalmist tells us that with thankful hearts:
1) We are to eulogize the attributes of God
2) We are to itemize the benefits of God
3) We are to recognize the purposes of God
We are to eulogize the attributes of God
Psalm 103:1 NKJV
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
In looking for a starting point for thanksgiving, this verse certainly provides it. Before we can thank God for His blessings, we must first thank God for His being. This is exactly what the psalmist commands us to do. To engage all of our intellectual, emotional, and willing power in blessing and magnifying the holy name of God.
The psalmist uses the phrase “His holy name!”. In so doing, he embraced every attribute of the person and nature of God.
It was said of A.W. Tozar that he was a worshipper-"one whose heart was fixed on God continually, who wanted to know Him more than he wanted any other thing in life. His work and ministry, his preaching and writing, his personal and public life all resolved around five words found in Revelation 22:8 NKJV-"I fell down to worship”. Sometimes he would kneel with his face lifted; other times he would lie on the floor, a piece of white paper under his face to prevent breathing carpet dust. He saw the beauty and the glory of the Trinity, and in kaleidoscopic splendor, he would see this attribute and the other pass before his raptured sight. Is it any wonder that he became such a mighty prophet who earned the right to be heard by the whole church of Christ?
People today are encouraged to adopt unworthy views of God and His word. When we come to a Psalm such as this, it is to condition ourselves afresh in the holy art of worship. John 4:24 NKJV reminds us that God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
We are to itemize the benefits of God
Psalm 103:2 NKJV
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
I think if there is a common problem, that each of us can agree to it would be forgetfulness. In failure or even success, we tend many times to overlook the blessings of God, which He constantly lavishes us with.
William Law in his book "Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life", said-
“Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms, or is most eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice, but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God willeth, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.”
It might be said as it was of David "a man after God's own heart".
We are to recognize the Purposes of God
Psalm 103:20-22 NKJV
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You [c]ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
The psalmist closes this unmatched work of praise by:
Calling the angels in heaven and the men of the earth, to recognize the purposes of God throughout His universe throughout time and eternity.
The appreciation of God’s attributes and benefits first requires a desire above all else to advance His purposes.
-Obey God’s Word
Psalm 103:20 NKJV
Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
The archangels excel in strength and are unceasingly engaged in obeying the word of their God.
It would do good to remember that when even as you pray as Matthew 6:10 NKJV said from the Lord's Prayer which we also know as the Model Prayer-
Your kingdom come. Your will be done
A thankful heart always issues in an obedient life and we are reminded that in 1 Samuel 15:22b NKJV we know that-
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
A Chinese convert declared that he found the best way to remember the Word was to do it! He incarnated the Word and it became a vital part of his own personality. He lived it and it lived in him. The Word became flesh. This is the only really vital “way of remembrance, “ To confirm the Word into the primary stuff of life
Counting our Blessings is much more than mouthing words or even prayers. We eulogize the attributes, itemize the benefits and as well recognize the benefits of God.
Genuine thankfulness will not only proclaim “Bless the Lord, O my soul”: but will go forth each day to obey God’s word, fulfill His will, and perform His work.
We wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.
In God's Grace,