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Recipe for a Spirit of Thanksgiving

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Blog title card; topic is how to be glad during the holidays
A Recipe for Thanksgiving

During the holiday seasons, it’s common to pull out family recipes that are enjoyed by family and friends. Tucked away in Psalm 138 we find just such a recipe. The baker is King David and the ingredients are the perfect recipe for a spirit of Thanksgiving. So won’t you join me in examining Psalm 138 so we, too, can taste and see that the LORD is good?


Verse 1 - King David is very emphatic about praising God with his whole HEART. in fact, he is willing to praise the Lord before the “gods” (that is, the leaders). David doesn’t care who he praises the Lord in front of.  In verse 1, the instruction is to praise God with your whole HEART.

Verse 2 - David proclaims that his worship is towards the holy temple, as is his custom of practice. However, in verse 2 he also puts an emphasis on the reason: because of the loving kindness God has shown him and for the truth which is magnified in His word. David is joyful in God; the Joy of the LORD is my STRENGTH, Nehemiah 8:10 says. He exalts God’s Word; “thy word is a Lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” Psalm 119:105 says. Verse 2 prompts two questions: Do you know where your Joy is? And whom have you placed it in?

Verse 3 - King David remembers to give thanks when he has faced trying times in his life. This reminds us of the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks.”

Verses 4-5 - The psalmist knows that there is coming a day when every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that God is LORD (Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10-11).

Verse 6 - David declares God’s omniscience. God is all-knowing.

Verse 7 - The king looks to the future with sureness of heart, knowing that God will protect him and provide for his every need.

Verse 8 - King David closes out Psalm 138 with his Heart drawing close to God, for he knows that Lord has ordained him in calling him to be king, and has showed him mercy. David praises Him for His mercy, then goes a bit further; he petitions God not to remove the calling.

My friends, it is not only in the holiday seasons that we should we know the recipe for the spirit of Thanksgiving. Rather, in every season we should have and use this recipe. God loves to hear from us, and he loves to see us doing exactly what he’s called us to do. Though he wasn’t perfect, King David did strive to both walk with God and live for God.

Earlier, I alluded to Psalm 34:8: “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” In meditating on Psalm 138, have you tasted and seen the goodness of God? If you have, you should follow the example of Nehemiah 8:10: “Then he said unto them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

With all the blessings of the holidays to enjoy, it is the perfect time of year to obey 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Perhaps you find the recipe of Psalm 138 difficult to make. If guilt and regrets are weighing you down, I encourage you to remember the truths in 1 John 3:20: “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” Try the recipe of Psalm 138, and you will indeed “taste and see that the LORD is good.”


The above article was written by Kaare Allen. He has years of experience as a layman in ministry, and is member of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at

Every Tuesday, SFL publishes relevant Bible-based content. Check back next Tuesday to read the next SFL article.


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