Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love [mercy] endures forever (Psalm 118:1)
Do you know that if you and I are here today, it is because of God’s mercy alone? It is not because of who you are. It is not because of your education, or of the fact that you are a good person. No! Remember the words of Lamentations 3: 22 & 23: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.”
Oh, let’s praise the Lord for His mercies. When you wake up in the morning, you wake up to welcome these mercies that are always fresh, always new every morning. When you go to work, you go with God’s mercy. In your work place you work with God’s mercy. You come home with God’s mercy. You raise your children with God’s mercy. I preach with God’s mercy. You listen to God’s Word with His mercy. You sing with God’s mercy. It is all about the mercies of God! And, take note, according to our text, Psalm 118:1, this mercy endures forever. Once it has been bestowed on you, that mercy will remain in you.
There is a well known hymn based on Lamentations 3:23, the verse that I have just read before you—“Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” This hymn is by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960):
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father! There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not [We fail God, but His compassions will never fail.]: As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; [My friend, do you see the mercies of God every day, every morning? When you woke up this morning, did you feel those mercies? Did you see them? Did you say, “Lord, I thank You for Your morning mercies?”] All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
My fellow believers, we see this mercy displayed at Calvary when God sent His precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to be our mediator, to die for our sin, to redeem us from the curse of the law. That’s the mercy of God. And, the psalmist says in our text, give thanks to the Lord, not only because He is good, but because His mercy abides forever. So, here we have the ground for our gratitude. This ground is not man-centered, but gospel-centered, God-centered. Again, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, let’s remember the goodness of God and His mercy. And, let’s learn to trace all our blessings back to God, back to the cross, to give Him thanks. Amen!
Note: This is a slightly edited excerpt from the Thanksgiving message, “The Ground of Our Gratitude,” delivered on November 22, 2012 at Dutton URC. You can listen to the message here (Part 2) and here (Part 1).