Thanksgiving will be here soon. In a Sunday school class, a teacher asked the children to share what they were thankful for so everyone could hear their gratitude. A little boy said he was especially thankful for his glasses. The teacher asked him why he was thankful to have to wear glasses. Very quickly he answered, “Because they keep the boys from hitting me and the girls from kissing me.”
Perspective can make a huge difference, can’t it? In this season of Thanksgiving, we must choose to be thankful, even if our circumstances, the economy, our friends or family don’t appreciate or thank us; we can rise above our circumstances. So, to help you with “Thank-You Therapy,” let’s look at what God says to us in Psalm 107 verses 1–9. We’ll discover its lessons of thankfulness still speak to us today. Psalm 107 is a beautiful song written to celebrate the Jews’ return from the freedom from bondage in Egypt and from their exile in Babylon.
Joseph was taken as a slave to Egypt. He ultimately became Pharoah’s right-hand man and planned ahead for years of famine; he led the country to become the world’s economic leader and thus provided for the Israelites to thrive in the land of Egypt. Decades later, a Pharaoh ruled who didn’t know Joseph, and God permitted His chosen people to become oppressed by the Egyptians. The Israelites grew in numbers and power, and the pharaohs began to eliminate them. Moses was sent by God to lead his people to freedom. God’s ultimate purpose in saving the Israelites was that they would keep his precepts and observe His laws. God allowed trouble to come to the Israelites in order to help them grow and that they would depend on him. When they were free, they knew who had freed them!
Psalm 107:1–2 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this—“
Thankfulness to God should always be on the lips of those whom he has saved. God’s people who deserved only judgment; yet the children of Israel had been set free literally from captivity. They had been in bondage for years, and the Lord heard their cries and freed them from bondage. A definition of redeemed found at answers.com says redeemed means to extricate from an undesirable state: reclaim, recover, rescue. God rescued His people. The Israelites experienced the God who redeems.
Experience the God who redeems.
What about you? Have you truly experienced what redemption means? God wants you to experience the God who redeems.There was a time in my life when I needed rescuing from myself. At age seventeen, already an alcoholic and drug addict, I was working at a summer camp in Lake Tahoe. I remember the Christians at the camp sharing a five-word phrase and how it rang in my ears: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
“Love covers a multitude of sins,” the camp staff said when I threw fits over doing my chores or smoked cigarettes and dope. Though raised in church, I had never been around Christians like these; they didn’t tell me to change anything about my appearance, attitudes or addictions. These believers showed me what love looks like.
I began to believe God’s love could cover my drug and alcohol addictions, my lying and stealing, my promiscuity and even my drug dealing. I didn’t have to clean up my act before coming to God; He loved me passionately just the way I was.
After two weeks of experiencing how “love covers a multitude of sins,” I embraced it. Submitting to the overwhelming love of God, I allowed His abundant love to cover my multitude of sins. At seventeen years old, I committed and submitted my life to Christ, and He hasn’t let go of me! I experienced the God who rescued me from myself. I experienced the God who redeems.
“We are all products of our past, but we choose whether or not we are prisoners of it,” says Pastor Rick Warren. We can trust God can redeem us in impossible circumstances and claim his promises. We can choose not to be a prisoner of our past but find God’s redemption in it. When we share our story, we can testify—it’s our story for God’s glory.
Thank-You Therapy Takeaway Truth: God Wants to Redeem You
Some of you may feel redemption is for someone else, not you. But God says today: None of you is unredeemable. “God’s love covers a multitude of sins,” says 1 Peter 4:8. Let God’s love redeem you today. “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress,” says Psalm 107:6.
God heard the cries of the children of Israel; he knew their situation. Exodus 2:23 says, “The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slaver went up to God.” God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant . . . so God looked on them and was concerned about them. God promised deliverance in Exodus 6:6–7: “I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them. I will take you as my own people and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” God allowed His chosen people, the Israelites to experience the God who delivers.
Read the rest of this post on Wednesday!