The writer of Psalm 136 starts with these words: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” He then gives reason after reason why we should thank our God.
This week, I got back home from a mission trip to Jamaica. While we were there, we visited and ministered at orphanages, schools and churches. The poverty there is not quite as bad as Haiti, but it still is a whole lot worse than here in America. If it wasn’t for the tropical weather and abundant fruit, I believe many would starve. The average family will make around $30 per week, and prices are around double what they would be in the states.
In the interior, we saw shacks that were called houses and communities where the only bathroom was the side yard. There is no welfare or food stamps available, and retirement — when available — may be only $40 per month.
We in America have so much to be thankful for. Even among our poorest, we have clean water to drink, plenty of food to eat, clothing in abundance and access to government programs. Most Americans are not among the poorest; most have nice houses and cars and are able to go out to eat at family restaurants. Most of us don’t have to shop at the Goodwill stores, even though that is not such a bad idea.
Our children have toys that they only play with for a short time and then get the newest things that come available. Most families go on vacations, to the movies or participate in their favorite types of entertainment.
You might say we are just a little bit spoiled. Most importantly, we have the ability to give more to God’s work and to those who are less fortunate.
For all this, we ought to regularly give God praise, honor and glory. We ought to get up every morning and thank the Lord for his goodness and for all we get to enjoy. We ought to thank him that we were privileged to be born in America. We need to realize that we don’t have a guarantee to always have it so good. We need to realize that if we keep on telling God to leave and get out of our schools, government etc., he might just listen and give us what we ask for.
We need to understand that what we have we owe to our heavenly father.