A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

During this Thanksgiving season, Psalm 103 will be read, taught and preached on in many of our churches or family gatherings.

It was written by King David as he was growing older and wiser. He had learned many of life's lessons and had been made aware of the seriousness of sin and the importance of being forgiven of those sins.

In verse one, David searches his soul and asks God's forgiveness for being so slow to be grateful for the many blessings of life.

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So often we take God's blessings for granted. Maybe we don't have an attitude of gratitude as we should. David, like the rest of us, had suffered the loss of loved ones.

He had been through many trials. He had been betrayed by his friends and even by his loved ones.

But even through the difficulties of life, David still showed his gratitude toward God for all that had been given him. If we count our blessings, the good always outweighs the bad.

Yes, we may have had a tough time during this past year, but all in all, God has been good to us. May we have a heart of Thanksgiving.

In verse two, David reflects upon the need to be thankful. He speaks of the &#8220benefits” of being a child of God. We are not deserving but God blesses us because he loves us.

David sees these blessings as benefits bestowed upon us by a loving God. Then David talks about the things he has been delivered from.

What God has brought him through and what God has brought him to. This brings the peace and contentment that makes life all the more enjoyable.

Then in verses three, four and five, David starts counting his blessings. We, like David, can count our blessings this Thanksgiving season. There is forgiveness of our sins. Our mistakes, our misfortunes, our past. It's all under the blood of Jesus.

Our sins have been cast as far as the east is from the west.

Then he mentions the healing of all our diseases. Aren't you glad that there is nothing impossible with God?

We have probably all seen God's healing hand in our lives or the lives of our families.

My wife, Bonnie, and I have a little grandson, Mitch.

Two years ago, the doctors diagnosed him with leukemia. They didn't offer him much hope, but God touched him and today you would never know he had ever been sick. Thank God!

Then David remembers that God had rescued him from danger many times.

Maybe he was thinking about the time he stood before the giant, Goliath, or the many battles he fought as the leader of Israel.

Then David speaks of the thing that is lacking in many people's lives today. Satisfaction!

He said God satisfies the longing soul. We look for satisfaction in all the wrong places.

It can't be found in the things the world has to offer: The alcohol, the drugs, the wrong relationships.

The only real peace we'll ever have in this world is in knowing Jesus. Only He can satisfy a longing heart.

As you think about the things you are thankful for this year - as you count your many blessings, do you know the one who gives us these blessings? The Bible says, &#8220Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” Have you called on Him? He's waiting to hear from you.

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and have a happy holiday season.

Dale E. Maddy is senior pastor of Carter Avenue Community Church, 2020 Carter Ave., Ashland, Ky. 41101.