The photo was taken at the Mariveles Bay when our boat ran aground.after gliding on the water for almost two hours. Instead of moving westward to Manila Bay, our boat was pushed eastward by strong huge waves.
The Thanksgiving tradition that has been handed down to us teaches us to be thankful for those things we have received. That is great. But the Bible redirects our focus of thanks not primarily on the gifts but on the Giver Himself. The first verse says it all clearly: Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Instead of thanking God for what He does give, the Psalmist thanks God, first and foremost, for who He IS. Thanks is given to Him for He is good and that his faithful love is true and loyal forever (see also Psalms 100, 103, 104, 106)
One obvious advantage of thanking God based on his nature is that it nurtures and steadies our faith in Him even when we don’t see new, exciting and great gifts. We often associate gifts with something that give us pleasure. What if in God’s wisdom, He chooses to do with us what He did to toughen and refine Job? If we mistake blessings to be void of pain and loss, it might not be possible to say with Job“ I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it. Praise the name of the Lord (Job 1:21), Or, “should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10) It is this philosophy of thanksgiving that Job was able to ward off anything that attempts to destroy his faith on the loyalty of God.
Secondly, it will be easier to find things to praise God about when we are convinced that He is good and loving. That means that even HIs silence, or His seeming absence, or His painful disciplines, are for our own good. If we see Him this way, we can be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18)
Lastly, if we are focused on his character, our thanking Him for what he DOES is focused on his real and most important gift to us. The writer of Psalm 107 gives us a hint on the crowning gift God has given. Until we have received this gift, we can’t be truly thankful to Him. The most precious gift God has given is His work of redemption. This is the core of our speech when we thank Him. The Psalmist strongly encouraged his readers: “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies” (Psalm 107:2).
There are two sides to his redeeming work. One points to that which expresses his love that endures forever (v. 1). As his love is forever, his work of redemption is also eternal. He has taken us away from the bondage of our fiercest unconquerable foe: death. Only the Lord can conquer death. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus “broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality” (2 Tim. 1:10). Someday “he will wipe every tear from their eyes, there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Rev. 21:4). Someday we who sojourn on earth, will join the elders in His new kingdom in singing, “You were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation ( Revelation 5:9-10; Read Revelation 19:11-15; 21:1-8, 22:3-7, 12-14). This gift eternal (Romans 6:23). It takes a strong faith in God's character of faithfulness and trustworthiness to look forward for a gift that is beyond the grave.
The other side of this redeeming work is what He does recurrently on earth. The Bible gives four examples of the recurring saving acts of God on earth. One, the lost ones who wander and get hungry and thirsty find satisfaction in God (vv. 4-9). The word of God tells of the many instances when the Israelites found food and water in the wilderness. Two, some rebel against God and become chained, addicted or imprisoned in misery (vv. 10-16). God unchains them. Too, some become undisciplined in life and get critically ill. God heals them (vv. 17-21). Moreover, some
ambitiously “ply the trade routes of the world” but experience shipwreck. The Lord gets them safety. (vv. 23-32). All of them upon experiencing God's redeeming love are instructed to thank God (v. 8, 15, 21, 31).s
We have something to tell the our friends, family and neighbors. THANK GOD FORHE HAS BEEN GOOD TO US. HE HAS REDEEMED US FOREVER.