Thanksgiving 2010

February 13, 2012

Topic: Thanksgiving


Today is the last Sunday of the year 2010. We have titled today as Thanksgiving Sunday for God’s protection and guidance for this year. Let us turn our attention to 1 Thessalonians 5.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16Rejoice, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We are to rejoice and thank God for the precious days of 2010. The Bible does not ask us to give thanks to God for all circumstances but rather in all circumstances. No matter how terrible we may feel in some of our circumstances, we are told to give thanks in all things.

As we end this year some of you maybe thankful about the people who had been good to you. Maybe someone has given you the support without which you could not have overcome the crisis you were in.


I happened to meet one of our believers who helped one of his friend come to Bangalore. This friend was without money or job and our believer helped him get a good job and helped with his expenses for 6 long months. In a matter of 5 years he was well placed in Bangalore with a good family. The believer got so upset with his friend that he even stopped talking to his friend. I asked him why is he so bitter to his friend. The believer said, “You know pastor I helped him so much, now he is busy, he even does not have time for me, he is not at all grateful to me.”

I have come across a similar scenario where another believer helped another friend and every second word the friend thanks the believer for his help.

Who really deserves thanks in both these scenarios? I feel God rightly deserves all the glory from all 4 of them.

Now let me put it this way. If someone has helped you it is God who brought that person to you. If you have helped someone thank God for giving you the money and the time to help someone. If you have found a good church at City Harvest it is God who planted this church and brought you to be a part of this family. So primarily we have to give thanks to God for all things that have happened in our life.

Make sure that you are thankful to God in all your circumstances.

I know every one of us have a great list of things to be thankful to God for. Let us see from the Bible some principles of thanksgiving.

King David was a man with a great heart of thanks to God. If anyone ever gave thanks to God again and again and again in the OT it was King David. If we study David’s background he was a shepherd boy who became the hero of a nation, a hunted fugitive of a nation who became its king, a condemned sinner and murderer who became a “man after God’s own heart.”

Let us begin by seeing how David thanked God. David begins Psalm 103 with words of thanksgiving.

Psalm 103:1-2 1Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

For every blessing, every benefits David is just praising one person, God. He is thankful to God for everything. Let us see what David is thankful to God for.

Psalm 103:3 Who forgives all your sins.

1. Thank God for Forgiving our Sins

David begins by thanking God for being a God who forgives all his sins. David knew what was important to God. He doesn’t begin by thanking God for making him King. He doesn’t mention that Israel had become the strongest nation in the world during his reign. He does not thank God for his family first. No, first of all, David thanks God for forgiving his sins.

See Jesus died for our sins. Jesus did not die on the cross to give us a good family or a good job. These are surely the benefits of following Christ. Jesus died primarily to forgive our sins. Therefore thanksgiving has to begin by asking God to forgive our sins. I believe if we can glance through our sins and shortcomings of 2010 and ask God to forgive, God will forgive our sins and help us begin 2011 without guilt and sin.

Let us take a moment and glance through 2010.

Song: Let the weak say.

The most precious gift that any of us can ever receive through Jesus Christ is the provision for our sins to be forgiven. Give thanks to God for cleansing us today.

2. Thank God for your Health, Family’s Health

Psalm 103:3 Who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases.

David didn’t know anything about diseases or infections, he did not know much about health as in those days science was not that developed. All he knew was that when the people of Israel obeyed God’s laws that they didn’t have the plagues that killed thousands. But when troubles did arise and people were sick they called upon God for help and He was always there to heal them.

You may not be able to fully understand everything that happened in your life in 2010. But one think I am pretty convinced that even without your knowledge God has protected you and he has healed you. It is a fact that 99.9% of our members were never hospitalized. God was our great physician in 2010. He knew where we needed healing whether it be physical, psychological, emotional, or spiritual, and he has guided us with his great hand. I’m so thankful to God for his healing hand upon the City Harvest family.

Come on give a clap offering to God for his healing hand upon us.

Song: He knows my name.

3. Thank God for your Material Blessing

Job, business, money, food, house, clothing etc.

Deuteronomy 8:10-14 10When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

God expects us to list everything he has given to us and give thanks to him.

If we actually do not list and give thanks to God, God looks at us as a person of pride.

Deuteronomy 8:14 Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

If we actually do not list and give thanks to God, we are in fact giving credit to ourselves for our blessings.

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 17You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Therefore I would like you to list down every blessing that God has given to you and give thanks to God.

Song: Thank you Lord for your blessing on me.

4. Praise God and Thank God for Tough and Bad Times

Not everybody is sharing in our joy & thanksgiving as we end 2010. There are many of you who are suffering. There are many who are weak and sick, some who are struggling with family or financial problems. In fact almost everybody in this room still has unanswered prayers and some suffering or the other.

We can still give praise & thanks to God even though bad things happen to us.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 17Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The children of Israel incurred great loses. That particular year they had no crops or cattle. People are literally starving and yet in bad economy and when the children of Israel incurred heavy losses they are praising and thanking God and are joyful in the Lord.

Why do we praise God for bad times?

Remember the difference between God’s people and the worldly people is that in suffering we do not suffer alone. God is with us in our sufferings.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Listen, we’re not the only ones struggling. We’re not the only ones hurting. There are people who do not know God outside who are also struggling and hurting. The difference is that when we are hurt God is with us and God is there to help us through those difficult moments of life.

Exodus 2:24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.

You & I forget people and their names very soon. People forget us very fast yet the God of the universe, who has billions of people to be concerned about, never forgets. He heard the groaning of Israel & He remembered the covenant that He made with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.

Exodus 3:7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them.”

God knows every cry that comes from the lips of his people, every prayer from the depths of our hearts. God is telling, “I’m concerned about your tears & your suffering. I’m with you and I’m going to rescue you.”


Can you imagine the time when our children were hurting and crying. Those are the times when we are most eloquently able to communicate our love & concern to them. Because we can’t stand to watch them hurting, we carry them up in our arms. If our children are too big for that, we try to communicate verbally our love for them. We want them to know that we are hurt too and we try to do everything we can to take away their hurt.

In my life some of my greatest moments with God have been the times I have hurt the most, when I felt the most empty, when I’ve cried from the depths of my soul, to find that He was there, always faithful, always keeping His promises. Isn’t it good to know that God is with us when we are hurt and he has led us though our difficult times in 2010.

Song: God of the good times.


This morning we have many reasons to thank God for. We must thank God for our very existence and each and everything God has given us. But first of all let us thank God for forgiving our sins, let us thank God for our health and the health given to our family, thank God for all his blessing upon us, and finally thank God for all the tough times we went through in 2010.

We offer you an opportunity for the forgiveness of your sins today if you have not accepted Jesus as your savior and Lord. Let us begin 2011 with Christ. Jesus is the right person to start your year with. If you want Jesus in your life you can show it by raising your hand and by making your profession of faith, & by being faithful to the Lord in Christian baptism.

Let’s Pray.