Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of a message, posted to YouTube on November 25, 2021, from President of the Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson. You can see past messages here
Hello, friends! In many places around the world, including here in the United States, it is the season of Thanksgiving. A time to reflect on the year that is soon drawing to a close and to reflect on the many blessings we have received from the Lord.
Today in our time together, we will be spending most of our time directly in the word of God, reflecting on one of the most uplifting passages in all the Bible—Psalm 107, and seeing how it can apply to us today. It begins with these words:
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south" (verses 1-3).
This passage covers everyone--no matter where you are from--the east, the west, north, or south--God has redeemed you from the hand of the enemy! "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever."
The Psalm continues, covering the history of how God delivered ancient Israel, but is written in such a way that it can apply to us today, delivering promise after promise of God's mighty power to save.
As the Psalm describes the various trials God's people went through, we hear the refrain again and again, "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses" (verses 6, 13, 19, 28,).
But the Lord not only delivers us out of our distress, He "satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness" (verse 9), He leads us forward "by the right way," (verse 7), He breaks our chains and brings us "out of darkness and the shadow of death," (verse 14).
"Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (verse 15).
He sends His Word to heal us, and delivers us from destruction (verses 19, 20). Let us "Sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing" (verse 22).
When we are at our "wits end," we can "cry out to the Lord in [our] trouble, and He brings [us] out of [our] distresses (verse 28).
"He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (verses 29-31).
"He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, and makes their families like a flock, the righteous see it and rejoice, and all iniquity stops its mouth. Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord" (verses 41-43).
Commenting on Psalm 107, Ellen White writes in the beautiful book, Steps to Christ, "We need to praise God more 'for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.' (p. 102, Ps. 107:8). "Our devotional exercises should not consist wholly in asking and receiving. Let us not be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive. We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. We are the constant recipients of God's mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us" (SC 102, 103).
Yes, my friends, as we look to the Lord and His goodness, we have so much for which to be thankful! I encourage you to spend time each day, writing down at least 10 things for which you are thankful. Research has shown that having a gratitude journal increases both physical and mental health, and it strengthens us spiritually as well. I encourage you, if you have not already done so, to start a "Gratitude Journal" today.
And now let's pray together as we thank and praise God for His wonderful goodness and mercies He has shown to us. Father in heaven, we are so grateful for marvelous passages like Psalm 107, we give you the glory, we thank you for what you have done for us, we entrust our lives into your care knowing that you will take us through, whatever we face and that we can glorify you and give you our name all the praise. Lord, as we face the future, we know it will not be easy, but we know you will carry us through, thank you for hearing us and for the promises of your word especially Psalm 107, in Jesus name we ask it, amen.