If we have things to thank God for, we should get in the habit of doing that all the time. If you haven’t been in the habit of doing it, let me suggest that Thanksgiving is the best of all possible days. When you’re sitting around the Thanksgiving table and you’re enjoying the meal, talk about the goodness of God, and the things that he’s done for you for which you’re thankful. That’s what the day is all about.

Verse nine introduces a new idea. It tells us that the fourth way to give thanks is to sing praises to God. I wonder if you’ve ever reflected how it is a characteristic of Judaism and Christianity that we worship God by singing to him. It’s not true of all the world’s religions. In fact, it is really only true in the most profound sense of Judaism and Christianity. It’s because the other world religions are not religions of joy.

The second thing he says is also in verse eight: “Call on his name.” Now this is simple, too, but our problem is we don’t do it either. What this is saying is that we should pray. And yet that’s also hard, isn’t it? We find it easy to do all sorts of things. It’s far more easy for us to get active for God and do something, such as teach a class or serve on a committee than it is to pray. 

You’ve probably noticed, if you’ve reflected at all on your friends and people you work with, that some people do everything well. I supposed by contrast you know people who don’t seem to do anything well. Most of us do some things well and other things not so well. And then there are people who really do everything well. David, a great king, was one of those people. He spoke well. He ruled well. He fought well. But I think above all, he knew how to give thanks well. The text we’re going to look at is a text in which he tells us how to do that.

The third point of application in this story is a great encouragement for hurting people, especially those who know themselves to be unclean. You know I talk to a lot of people in the course of a year, and people are not always forthright about the things that are rankling deep in their heart. But if you have opportunity to talk to them and pursue it long enough, many people have experiences in their past of which they are so ashamed that they almost cry out thinking themselves to be unclean in different ways.