Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness. And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving. And declare His works with rejoicing. [Psalm 107:21-22 NKJV]
This is a cry from the psalmist for his people to rejoice and be thankful for the wonderful works of the Lord toward Israel. The entire 107th Psalms is a song of thanksgiving that shows how the children of men would fall into distresses and God would hear their cries and deliver them. A comparison is shown how God delivers people who are thankful and those who are not thankful.
Verse 17 explains one reason we fall into distress: "Fools, because of their transgression and because of their iniquities, were afflicted." But in our afflictions God heals us and will deliver us from destruction, by sending us His Word, verse 20. It is only the "Fool" that does not lift up their soul to the Lord and offer God the sacrifice of thanksgiving when he sees he has been delivered and healed of all his distresses.
Two Types of Gratitude
Haven't you wondered why we as people of faith go through periods of time where it seems like the Lord is not filling our need? Not delivering us from our distresses?
At first you think, "Why is God not hearing me, what have I done wrong?"
Then more time goes by without having your need met and you wonder, "Dear Lord, will you ever meet my need?"
We all have need, and we always seem to have need.
Our needs develop because we live. In life there will always be needs to fill and many times these needs are greater than we have the ability to do anything about. . .at that present time.
This is shown in Psalm 107:9 For He satisfies the longing soul. . .
There are two ways to approach getting our needs met:
The Foolish Attitude
This person approaches God with contention, with complaints, or as one felling entitled to have their need met.
This person is crying out to the Lord because they feel God should answer them say,
"He is God and I trust him, so He should give me what I need. This is what God does."
The Righteous Attitude
This person approaches God with thanksgiving, praising God because He is faithful; knowing God has already made preparation to fill their need.
This person is humbled because God has given them salvation.
They are filled with gratitude as expression comes pouring out of their heart and they give praises to the Lord. In their praise they cry out to God because of His marvelous works, and they express their need as a humble soul desires from the Almighty God. Then God out of his goodness and love, answers to the need because of their Praise and Worship, not because they have need.
It must be understood that God does not fill our needs because we have need.
If that were true all needs would be met at all times.
The very fact that we always have need is a testimony that God does not answer our need solely because we still have need.
When Jesus was being prepped for his own death a women presented herself to him and used a very expensive fragrant oil and poured it on his head and feet. His disciples asked why was this wasted and not sold to be given to the poor. Jesus told them, "You have the poor with you always" (Matthew 26:6-11).
There will always be poor;
There will always be needy;
There will always be needs because there will always be things life brings upon us, or we bring upon ourselves.
God is not obligated to fill our need because we have it.
The elders of Israel sent the Prophet Ezekiel to inquire from the Lord because of their need.
God's answer to them was, "As I live," says the Lord God, "I will not be inquired of by you."
After all, who are we that we should think we deserve from the Lord!
I have had people ask us for donations with this attitude.
Because they had the need and we are a ministry that helps with needs, they felt we should send them money.
My answer to them was, "You do not deserve donations just because you have a need. People will give to your need out of grace and love, not demand and requirement."
And God does not answer us in our needs just because we have called upon Him.
How God Fills Our Need
107th Psalm shows five examples of God delivering people from their distresses. . .their need.
Israel, Verses 2-9
Those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, Verses 10-14
Those who transgress, Verses 16-20
Those who work on the seas, Verses 23-30
Those in the assembly of the people, Verses 32-42
From these examples look what God does to deliver people out of their distresses:
He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness, verse 9.
He hears their cries in their troubles, and He saves them, verse 19.
He sends His Word and Heals them, verse 20.
He calms the storms, verse 29.
He guides them to their desired haven, verse 30.
Understand in each of these examples God delivered them from their distress out of
His Grace and Mercy
And the Praises to Him for His goodness and wonderful works.
Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness.
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
This is spoken four times in Psalm 107. Verse 8, 15, 21, and 31.
The context by which the psalmist is using this passage of praise is with question to those who do not cry out in Praises to the Lord for His goodness and wonderful work!
This statement is a cry for Praise,
A command to Praise,
It is a statement of personal inquiry, wanting to know why someone would not offer up great praises to the Lord for all that he has done!
If you are wanting to have your needs met, the secret is Praise and Worship of the Lord God because of His goodness and wonderful works!
Not because you want to explain to God what you need;
He knows your need before you express them.
Not because there is something God needs to hear from you;
He hears our cries.
Not because you are hurting;
He knows and understands your pain.
And definitely not because you deserve it;
None of us deserve to be heard from God.
We Praise God because of His goodness and Wonderful Work!
To the Wicked:
He turns the rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground (vs 33).
To the Righteous:
When you are thirsty:
He turns a wilderness into pools of water, and dry land into water springs (vs 35).
When you are hungry:
He makes you to dwell in an establish city for your dwelling place,
So you can sow fields and plant vineyards, that you may yield a fruitful harvest (vs 36-37).
He blesses you to multiply greatly (vs 38).
He does not let your cattle decrease (vs 38).
When you are being oppressed and afflicted:
He pours contempt on the oppressors and causes them to wander where there is no way (vs 40).
He set the poor on high, far from your affliction (vs 41).
He makes their families like a flock (vs 41).
He makes all iniquity to shut up (vs 42).
The righteous see it and Rejoices (vs42).
The Wise will observe these things and they will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.
I do not praise because I have need; I praise God
Because of God's great works,
Because of His goodness,
Because of His grace,
Because of His sacrifice,
Because of His Salvation.
When my children were young and I was coming home from work my wife would have the children outside watching for me. I road on a city bus to get to work. The bus stop was up and around the block that we lived on. As I would come walking on the sidewalk and the apartment house came into view, I would see my children. One of them would see me and yell out, "There is Daddy" and they would all three come running to me. In that moment there was nothing in my existence that gave me more pleasure than the way my children enjoyed getting to see their Daddy and the way they made me feel as I would kneel down to hug each one of them. They were happy because their daddy was home; I was overcome with joy because of their excitement over me being their father.
Our heavenly Father is no different. He responds to us out of our complete joy over being with our father. He knows we have need and out of His love for us he wants to fill our need. This all generates from our praise and love for being with our "Daddy" and our joy while we are with Him.
This is why we should:
Praise Him in the waiting!
Praise Him in the hurting!
Praise Him in the sadness!
Praise Him in the struggle!
Praise Him in the Valley!
Praise Him on the hill top!
Praise Him in the loss!
Praise Him in the Victory!
He Meets Your Need in Wisdom and Character. . .before it is met in material and want.
Meeting Your Need in Character
If you had a child that came to you one evening, sat down by you, leaned into you for an embrace and said, "I love you daddy/momma". In most cases we would wonder what was it they wanted. When you ask, the child answers, "Nothing, I just want to sit here with you because I love you so much."
The child would continue to say, "I love you so much daddy/mommy I want to do something for you. Is there something you would like me to do?" So you give the child something to do. The child then goes about the task without complaint. They come to show you they are finished and you notice they finished the job but not exactly like you wanted them to. You point out what they could have done to make it better, but you commend them for a job well done.
You notice in the next few days this same child is keeping their room clean. The child is doing their assigned chores without complaint and doing them correctly. This child comes home from school and completes their homework, finishes their chores, cleans their room and comes to you and asks, "Is there something else I can do for you daddy/mommy?" You tell them out of great surprise in your voice, "Why yes there is, would you carry the dirty clothes basket to the laundry room?" They response with, "Sure," and they hurry off to do the task.
This activity continues for days and the child never complains and all they seem to want is you to hug them and love them as their reward. Then one evening this same child comes and sets down by you and again is just wanting to sit with you, embracing you for your love. While you are sitting there holding this child that has shown such transformation you say, "I have noticed how you have been doing things and you are doing them the way we like things to be done. I am so proud of your attitude and how you never complain about doing anything? What has made you want to be like this?" The child answers back, "Because of You. I have learned all this from you and I love you so much; I just want to please you. I am thankful for the home you have made for me to live in and I want to show you how much I love you."
In this moment there is nothing you would not do for this child.
The child becomes a teenager and gets a part-time job. He/she walks to work each day because they do not want you as the parent to be responsible for them to get there. They set some money aside and they give you the rest of it saying, "I want you to have this so I can start carrying my part around here." After a year of walking to work and saving money this child comes to you and ask if you would go with them to see this car they want to buy. You go with them to see the car and it is a good used car; not too expensive, and your child has saved up enough to pay for the car. When they give the finial cost of the car your child did not realize the extra costs that are added to the finial price and they are $200 short. You see the disappointment in their eyes and this child looks at you asking, "What do I do now? This is all that I have." Because of the integrity, the commitment, the transformation that has taken place in this child, your heart is touched and you willingly give them the $200 before they even ask for it.
This is how we all want our children to be.
God feels the same way, this is how He wants all of His children to be!
He will give to your need out of your character and love for Him.
But if you have a child that is always disrespectful, never wanting to do anything and what little they might do is always wrong; they are constantly getting into trouble; failing in school; and will not listen to anything you are trying to help them in. . .this child has no character. . .and this child you do not want to do anything for. . .you would rather punish them.
The same is with God.
If you refuse to do things the way God wants things done;
If you are never learning, never growing, never wanting to walk in the things of God;
If you think you know what is right and you are making demands on God;
If you are blaming Him for all that is wrong in your life and you feel entitled;
If you refuse to listen to His correction. . .
Then You have no character and. . .
You are not going to get your needs met!
Meeting Your Need In Wisdom
Your child comes and asks you how to do a certain thing. You show the child how to complete what they are wanting to do. They listen to what you say and watches what you show them, but they do not follow through as you have instructed them. The thing they were trying to accomplish does not work and their task falls apart. Out of frustration the child gives up and does not try to make corrections to solve the problem. They come back to you and asks if you would come and fix the problem. You see what they have done wrong and you point out the mistakes. Out of respect and love for you they make the corrections and finish the task.
Later this same child comes to you wanting to know how to do something else. You explain what needs to be done and how to do it and you leave the child to their task. While working on this task the child realizes they need some specific tools to complete what they are working on so they come to you and asking for your tools. You tell them, "No you do not have the knowledge and experience it takes to use these tools. What I will do is teach you how to use the tools first, then you can finish your task." The child follows your instructions and begins learning all that is necessary about the tools so they can complete their task. Along the way they need little things to help them in their learning so you provide those things because they are working so hard at this. When you see they have learned all they needed to know and they have the experience necessary to use the tools required to finish their task, you let them use the tools. They finish the task and they use what they have made to help many people have a better life. When people inquire how this child was able to do this marvelous work the child answers, "Because of the love and guidance of my parents I was able to have what was needed."
God is the same way!
Your need will be met when you are capable of handling the responsibility of what you are asking for.
You pray and ask for food.
What have you done to show the Father you have been a responsible person to get, grow, or have food?
You pray and ask for money so you can make, build, or provide something.
What have you done to show the Father you have been responsible to work and build an income?
Being a ministry is not a reason for not working and providing.
Ministry should not be responsible for your income before you are responsible for your income. Many ministers work to have a living as they continue building ministry.
You pray to have a successful career or ministry.
What have you done to grow in wisdom so the Lord can trust you are a responsible person who can use the tools that God has given you?
God will meet your needs when you grow in wisdom and character enough to be responsible for what you are asking for.
God will fulfill his promises to you when you have grown in wisdom and character enough to be responsible for what those promises are.
He will meet your needs when you come to Him in praise and love, blessing Him for his wonderful works!
Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness.
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!