The Psalmist started this chapter by saying “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Is it very easy to give thanks? It is certainly easy to give thanks when everything is well and things are good. But it is not easy for those going through difficult times such as failed business, unemployment, sickness, or broken relationships, to give thanks and rejoice! Furthermore, with the continuous increase in new covid-19 cases infecting millions of people worldwide and those who lost their family members to this virus, how are they able to give thanks in such situation? It is definitely not easy when faced with those situations. Nevertheless, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it is stated that we are to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” As believers, because of what God has done, we should always be thankful to the Lord, and giving thanks has little to do with the circumstances of life.
In this particular Psalm, we read of 4 different groups of people who encountered different challenging situations. They are:
• The wanderers, homeless and lost in the desert, hungry and thirsty with their lives fading away (v4-5).
• The criminals in chains suffering in dark gloomy prison cells because of their rebellion (v10-12).
• The sick who are suffering because of their foolishness and sins (v17-18).
• The merchants/traders out in the sea caught in the storm (v23-27).
In each situation, these groups of people cried out to the Lord in their distress. They prayed to Him in their suffering. He heard them and delivered them all from their suffering. We should always remember that in whatever circumstances we are in, God is always there to listen to us when we cry out to Him. He is never too busy. He is not one who has too many things to do. He always gives us His full attention. No matter what happens in life, God is there, forgiving us, saving us, delivering us, providing for our every need, directing us onto the right pathway, and showering us blessing upon blessing.
In addition, the Psalmist ended each situation all in the same way, which is, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men….” (v8, 15, 21 & 31). When encountering any difficult situation, rather than responding in a negative way such as complaining, being grouchy, making others feeling sorry for us, etc, the Psalmist repeatedly tells us to Give thanks to the Lord. If we believe in Jesus, understanding the cost that He has paid for our sins, we have more than enough reason to give Him thanks. He deserves our gratitude.
Suggested Thanksgiving Prayer - Thank Him for His mercy & grace. Thank Him for life, for salvation, for His goodness and blessings. Thank Him for His great love and care. Thank Him for His presence, for fresh air to breathe, and many many more.