“HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER”
By Pastor Donald Parker
We’ve just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, and while celebrated once a year, thanksgiving, is to be a life-style for a Christian. The attitude of a Christian’s heart should be one of continuous thanks to God. The Bible talks about giving thanks to God, for example: in Psalm 118:1 the psalmist wrote: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. The ESV translation says: “His steadfast love endures forever.” I love that word “steadfast.” Synonyms of the word include: unwavering – persistent – committed – and firm. God’s love is steadfast and last forever; truly a reason to give thanks!
The psalmist reveals to us three things about thanksgiving in this verse. First, he pointed out its purpose: “Give thanks to the Lord.” James 1:17 says; “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” We need to give God thanks for his countless blessings.
Second, the psalmist reveals its reason: “for he is good.” God’s blessings flow naturally out of the graciousness of his heart. Its God’s character; he is always good. Third, the psalmist reveals its motivation: “his love endures forever.” My friend, we have so much to be thankful for, most importantly, God’s love.
I mentioned earlier, giving thanks to God is to be a life-style for a Christian. So, I want to give you a few reminders of what our thanks to the Lord should be like. First, our thanks must be constant. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians, as Believers, we should: “Give thanks in all circumstances.” This doesn’t mean giving thanks to God for bad things that happen, but realizing that God is at work to produce good, even in bad circumstances.
Romans 8:28 says: “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” We should express our thanks to God every single day, and in all circumstances, such as: in times of prosperity, and in times of adversity.
When we hear the word prosperity, what usually comes to mind first, is wealth. But other similar words include: successes – plenty – the good life – comfort – and ease. We’re to give God thanks in the good times and the hard times; times of adversity. Synonyms of the word adversity include: difficulty – hardship – suffering – trouble – disaster – distress – and crisis. So most people would say giving thanks in times of adversity is hard to do, and it is. But, thanking God in times of adversity, helps us learn to trust and depend on Him.
In Philippines 4:12 Paul said: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” God teaches us contentment through the ups and downs (the adversities) in our ever changing life circumstances. He wants to learn to trust and depend on Him regardless of what happens to us or around us. The Christians life-style of thanks includes being thankful even in times of adversity.
Next, a Christian’s life-style of thanksgiving must be vocal. Psalm 107:1-2a “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (2) Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” We are urged here to give God thanks and to tell others all He has done for us.
God has done so much for us, and we have so much to be thankful for. In Psalm 103:1-5a, David offers up a praise of thanks to God; notice what he says: “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. (2) Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. (3) He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. (4) He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. (5) He fills my life with good things.”
We have so much to thank God for and so much to tell others. No matter how difficult life’s journey might be for a Christian, we can always count our blessings – past – present, and future; because God’s love endures forever. Even though thanksgiving, the holiday has past, for Christians, our thanks to God should be a life-style of continuous thanks.
Come join us Sunday morning at 11am – First Baptist Church of Van Horn – A Place to Belong.