I Will Be Thankful and Give Praise

There is such great power in words. You know that one person you dread being around because almost every word out of their mouth is full of despair? It is amazing how disparaging words have the power to darken a soul into deep despair. And for some crazy reason we love to camp there. In reality, many of us find ourselves there from time to time. If we were to look at life circumstances, we often have justifiable reasons to speak this way. 

What is God’s way? Throughout Scripture, God gives instructions to His people to be thankful, sing praises, and to speak life not death. This week we look at a couple of foundational truths and then go to war; setting our souls free and declaring the goodness of our Lord.  I will give thanks because it is my privilege and a gift from God.

Psalm 34




Build your kingdom here

Psalm 145:10-12, 21


Oh how He loves us


Announcing the RA racers — 2nd place

Announcing that MW is having surgery tomorrow. We had turkey yesterday, and I may be having my turkey hangover. If you’re traveling, I pray that you’ll travel safely and return safely.


Today we’ll focus on Thanksgiving, postponing the Reconciliation series until I return.


Thanksgiving is extremely important. 


David is with some 400 of his men as fugitives in the wilderness of Judea….


Psalm 34

 34:1* ¶ <<OF DAVID, WHEN HE CHANGED HIS BEHAVIOR BEFORE ABIMELECH, SO THAT HE DROVE HIM OUT, AND HE WENT AWAY.>> I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

 3* Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.


David is fearing for his life, hiding in a cave. And he says, “Those who seek the Lord lack no God thing.


 11 ¶ Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

 12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?

 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

 14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

 15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

 16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

 17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

 18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.


(let me read that again)


 19* Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.


Even though all good things are promised to us, we still see that many are the afflictions of the righteous.


 20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

 21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

 22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.


In this passage, David is telling all the people to join him in blessing the Lord. To be honest, when people ask me about how I’m doing as I anticipate this surgery, I’m emotionally not doing to well. I realize that a lot of my identity is wrapped up in the things I’m physically able to do. And because I’m seeing that after this surgery there’ll be things I won’t be able to do, I struggle.


I know God still has a purpose and plan and still wants to care for my life. My identity isn’t in my physical things, but in the love of X and what God has designed for me.


As I stop and think about the things God’s blessed me with and brought into my life, there are many things I have to be thankful for.


In v1, when he says “I’ll bless the Lord at all times and his praise will be in my mouth”, that word “praise” is Tehilla - a spontaneous song that bursts from a grateful heart. And David says he’ll have this kind of singing from now to eternity. 

God desires for us to have songs of gratefulness overflowing from our heart.


IN v2, when we see the word “boast”, it’s talking about exalting, looking with reverence, excitement. It’s like a child boasting about his daddy when he’s young.

I remember saying, “My dad can beat your dad up.” and things like that. When I was younger, my dad was larger than life in my eyes. He’d call me “Michael Man!” and I overflowed with excitement about my dad. No one was greater than my dad.

As I grew up, I realized my dad wasn’t perfect, he was just a man. Some of that awe disappeared. But with God, it’s completely opposite. The more we mature in X, the more we mature spiritually, the more childlike awe we should have for God.

As we seek him, the more we trust him, and stand and walk in his promises, the reality is that our daddy becomes greater and greater and greater. And we recognize that there’s nothing too great for our God. 

So the more you mature in X, the more childlike you should become, where you’re constantly boasting in how great your daddy is. So it’s no longer about what I can do. No longer about my wisdom, ability, or knowledge. It’s about what my heavenly father is able to do and is doing in my life.

And David is saying, the more I come to know my God, I’l boast in recognition of the greatness of my father. I’ll boast in the Lord.

David’s calling us to mature and recognize the greatness of the Lord. As we grow, we’ll become increasingly dependent on him and how he enables us to do his will.


There’s a purpose in giving praise and thanksgiving to God.


In our country, Thanksgiving is increasingly secular. It’s about feasting and football.


On Dec 13, 1621, the first thanksgiving was declared by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. When you go back to that first winter when they arrived, there were 102 pilgrims. After that first winter, 4 had died. The’d gotten to the point where they were rationing 5 kernels of corn per day.

A trading ship showed up and they were able to trade beaver pelts for corn. And they planted crops and Squanto and 80 friendly indians helped them. As they had a great harvest together, they thanked God for His provision. For how He delivered them through that harsh winter.

So Gov Bradford declared that first Thanksgiving.

It would’ve been very easy for the pilgrims to complain. “We almost starved!” “Hostile indians”. There was a lot to complain about, but they chose to come together corporately and give things to the Lord.


As I look at Scripture, I see many examples of this. In Exodus 15, Miriam leads Israel in a song of gratitude for God’s deliverance from the Egyptians and from the Red Sea. They see God do something miraculous. And they walk across dry land. And as the Egyptians try to pursue them, the waters consume their enemies once and for all.

So they sing this song celebrating what God has done.

And they came to this bitter spring called “mara”, where the water wasn’t fit to drink. But God directed moses to throw a log into the water and it became sweet.

They sang this song of praise and thanksgiving.

And then when they came into the Land of Canaan, seeing all the bounty there, they also see the giants. So fear took the heart of the Israelites.


Think about this. Once, they were enslabed by the Egyptians, but God delivers them from their captors. Then after God delivers them from the captors, they come to this sea, and they think they’ll meet their demise. But once again, the hand of deliverance. And they’re thankful fro what God’s done. And then come to the bitter spring. And complain because of the water. They’d forgotten about how God delivered them from the Egyptians, and how God delivered them from the Red Sea. They’d forgotten what God had done and then they complained. But God made the water sweet.

Once again, when they came to the land of Canaan, remembering that God has faithfully delivered over and over, they feared.

It’s important to recognize that we MUST be faithful. As we look back and see how God has delivered us, and provided for us time and again, it’ll cause us to recognize how great our God is.

“My Daddy is great! There’s no one greater than my heavenly father.” No matter what the situation, because of a constant song of gratitude in my heart, I can know that my God is greater.


In the OT, they set up several feasts to remind them of how God provided for them in the past. Passover in Exo 12:15-20. Pentecost in Lev 23:15-21. Tabernacles in Lev 23:33-36. All these feasts talk about how God provides for them and delivers them. No matter the situation and circumstance, they learned that GOd’s greater than any giants in the land.


In the NT, 1Th 5;16-18 see “in everything”:  16 ¶ Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


For who? For you!


Php 4:6  6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.



I’m opening up the mic and giving you a chance to declare what you’re thankful for.


DT: I’d like to thank God for this faithfulness to us, his grace and mercy he’s shown our family. It’s very humbling.

KB: I’m not an audience kind of person. I wanted to tel you guys, “I love you. I love SOusthide. You guys are awesome.” You’re my family. Ive had so many blessings through earth angels.

HB: This am, our SS class was talking about people who are influential in our lives. I’m thankful for the people he’s placed in our lives. My dad, who walked in integrity. Being brought up in a home where I Was taught the things of the Lord. Jenny and i have been working with a couple that doesn’t have that…. His mercies are new and fresh every morning

KS: I’m thankful for my church because they love me and they’d do anything for me.

SM: I’m thankful because Jesus loves me.

KS: I’m thankful for something I thought I’d never be thankful for. We don’t want to tell God we’re thankful for the struggles we go through. But I got to witness something very beautiful this weekend. My husband and I got to share w/ another family that we’d never been able to reach if it weren’t for the struggles Zine’s going through. I still struggling to be able to say “thank you for this”, but I am thankful for how He uses it.

PW: I’m really grateful and thankful for this church. When I joined, I never imagined I’d find a church that wasn’t my home church. College, youth, families. So many have touched my life. I could list the many ways people helped me with school, grad school… this church is one of the things I’m so grateful for. The reason I applied for a job in HSV is this church.

BC: God is not dead. Hallelujah. Thank you, Southside. God is on his throne, high and lifted up. Thank you Southside for bringing my family to this church. I hope and pray we have revival here. That we can be used by God in this church and see it grow. To help pastor Mike because we love this man so much.

I’ve been a missionary kid for a long time and seen the worst of the worst, but God is faithful. I’m thankful that He’s alive and well.

PM: I’m thankful for these guys who sit on the front row. I have the privilege of working w/ these college students. 20 years ago when I was in college, I didn’t have these kinds of issues. But these guys face difficult things on campus and in their jobs. Sometimes I come to church stressed, and the college kids pray for me and love me like I love them.

They’re going on mission trips, in the military. They’ve been influenced by you and now they’ll be the next generation.

JK: I’m thankful for His word. I just read again about the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee said, “I’m thankful” and then told God about himself. And he said he wasn’t like that man over there.

But I thank God that I AM like that man over there. I said, “God have mercy, a sinner.”

NF: I’m thankful that my source of joy isn’t my circumstances, but His spirit. That he intimately loves me with a love unlike any other.

Jerusha: I’m thankful that God’s given me an education and family here.

TG: For my family and my church family and for prayer. I’ve never left a prayer meting and time of prayer without feeling that I’m so wealthy.

EC: I’m thankful for a place to live.

MG: I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness. This week, the word Faithfulness cropped up all over the place. Prayers were answered. I want to read this (Isa 25:1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.)

WO: For my family, friends, and that we live in a free country.

HW: That life is full of different seasons. And those seasons have a beginning, an ending, and a purpose. And that in and out of every season, the Lord shows his steadfast love to all generations.

SC: I’m thankful for the relationships I’ve built w/ many of the ladies here at Sside. We pray, cry, complain together. I’m v thankful for you. Whether it’s a text, a card, a hug… It was hard to move here from GA 4 yrs ago. But I’ve built a new family of friends here. And I’m thankful for each of you.

MW: About 4 years ago, I tore my tricep in Africa. I’m thankful for that because we had to return to the states. And God used that to call me here to Sside.

And I’m thankful for many of you and your struggles and that Ive been able to walk with you and help you share your burden. It’s caused great relationships because of your willingness to be open and vulnerable to me. I’m thankful for your relationships. And that God has called us here to Sside.

I’m thankful for my beautiful wife who puts up wth me day after day. And for my kids. I’m such a blessed man.

JH: I have some much to be thankful for. Family. Wife. For MW, for what he’s become and meant to this church. Watching him and Heather and getting to know them has had a big effect on my family.

I think now it would be appropriate for us to gather around MW before his surgery.


[several people gather around and pray]


11:22 - MW: Thank you all for praying for me. Again, that’s why I love this church. Thank you all.

I’d like to go ahead and close us in prayer.

I feel so blessed to have all of you in my life.

Praying: Lord,… I thank you, I thank you, I thank you. That I hear over and over that this church loves. That we’ve ben through hardships and trials and pain. And when we stop and see the people you’ve brought into our lives. As we see the gifts and provisions you’ve brought, we realize there’s so much to be thankful for.

First and foremost we thank you for your son. Lord Jesus, we thank you that you’ve redeemed us and shown us how to invest a life for the the kingdom. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and defeating the power of sin and death and raising a new life.

Help us to truly have a song of gratitude in our hearts.

I pray for each of my bros and sis’s who may be struggling. I pray for your great word of peace. Your comfort, discernment, deliverance. For that spirit to be broken in the name of Jesus.

Lord, you’ve done so much in my life. I pray for your character to be recognized by every person i this room and that we’d be people who will have songs of gratitude overflowing from our heart for as long as we live. We love and thank you and pray in Jesus name.


11:27 [last song] Oh, how he loves us…


Closing by HB: This week, as you do, I’ve been bumping into people who are needy, hurting, broken, help them. You know people, members f your family who are absolutely broken. This week, give them a reason for the hope that’s in you.