Yesterday I began a two part holiday “special” centering on Psalms 118 and 145. (If you haven’t read it yet, you can find the post here) Reading these Psalms reminded me that on a holiday like Thanksgiving, there is no greater gift that we could be thankful for then God Himself. If we woke up Thursday morning with absolutely nothing to our names, we would still have reason to lift up praise because we would still have God. To celebrate our great God, then, I have gone through both of these Psalms and jotted down what they say about who God is. The resulting list gives us 12 irrefutable reasons to praise God this Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I shared with you the first six points. We talked about how God is a God of abundant goodness, steadfast love, and righteousness. We also talked about how God always hears us when we pray to Him and that He is a sure refuge and will deliver us from whatever we face. Today, I’ll be wrapping up this series with the final six points. I hope that this list will encourage you and give you abundant reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
#7 God is Merciful and Slow to Anger
Yesterday, we ended with the assurance that our God is righteous. Because He is righteous, however, He would have every right to blast all of humanity off the face of the earth. Yet, He doesn’t do that! This is because in addition to being righteous, He is also a God of great patience and grace.
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.Psalm 145:8
#8 God Keeps His Word
Throughout the Bible we see God making many promises to His people. But, of course, these promises would mean nothing to us, or the people who lived during Bible times, if we couldn’t be sure that God would actually follow through. Psalm 145 assures us, however, that God always keeps His word.
The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.Psalm 145:13b
#9 God Upholds His People
The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.Psalm 145:14
As comforting as it is to know that God will always keep His word, I find it equally comforting to know that God upholds His People. As a broken sinner, I know that there are many times when I disobey Him and stumble in my walk. According to this verse, however, I don’t have to be afraid that when that happens, God will abandon me. That’s not who He is. He is a God who is faithful to His people no matter what happens. He will always be there to lift you up whenever you are falling.
#10 God Preserves His People
Not only does God uphold us, but Psalm 145 continues by saying that God preserves us:
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.Psalm 145:20
We cannot look at the first half of this verse without considering its counterpart that ends it. It is a sobering thought to remember God’s judgement on those who are not a part of His family. Yet, I love how the Psalmist uses the word but to contrast the fates of believers with the fates of unbelievers. If you are a Christian, you don’t have to be afraid of the coming judgement. Instead, you can have confidence that God will bring you safely through it! Because of the death of His son, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) If that isn’t a reason to praise God, then I don’t know what is!
Not only that, but this promise of perseverance by God can be applied to what we face right here and now. No matter how hard the trial or how difficult the circumstance, God will bring us through it. We will arrive safely home in His presence.
#11 God Is Our God
After spending 27 verses praising God for who He is, the Psalmists ends with an amazing statement:
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.Psalm 118:28
Did you catch that? “You are my God,” the Psalmist says. If you are a Christian, then you can say the exact same thing. Isn’t that amazing? This great God that we’ve been talking about, this God who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, is our God! Don’t let how incredible this is be lost on you! This entire blog post means nothing if God is not your God. Those who are not a part of God’s people, who are under His judgement and wrath, are separated from God. They are not able to experience Him the same way that a believer can. To know Him, to have access to Him through the sacrifice of His son, is a privilege that none of us deserve. Yet, as Christians, we are still able to say that He is our God and we are His children. What a great blessing!
#12 God’s Greatness Is Unsearchable
I could think of no more fitting way to end this blog post series than by celebrating our great God with this final point taken from Psalm 145:
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.Psalm 145:3
What I have written here about our God is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, even after letting splitting this post into two parts, I still wasn’t able to include all of the points I found from these two Psalms! To me, this only further drives the point home that His greatness is unsearchable. No matter how long we look (or how many blog posts we write) we will never run out of things to praise God for because we will forever be discovering new facets of His greatness.
If you are facing this Thanksgiving under trial and difficulty, then my heart goes out to you. My own family has been going through a difficult season for quite some time now. I know from personal experience that sometimes, instead of offering relief in our difficulty, the Holiday season only proves to be a reminder of what we don’t have. But I would like to challenge you. I would like to challenge myself. Yes, life is hard sometimes, but just as much as life can be difficult, our Savior is good and merciful. So even if you feel like you have nothing else to celebrate during the Holidays, celebrate Him. He is with you. He is never going away. He will bring you safely home.