Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Giving Thanks for God's Deliverance and Eternal Goodness

By Garry J. Moes
Director of Development & Recruiting

I have always been intrigued by Psalm 107 because of the unique way it admonishes all people to give thanks to the Lord and because of the simple rationale it uses for doing so. The psalmist tells four mini-stories about certain groups of people who find themselves in dire circumstances, who then cry out to God for deliverance, and who thereafter receive relief from God. The groups include the lost in general, rebellious prisoners, fools suffering physical distress because of their folly, and hard-working folks engaged in commerce yet threatened by their sea-going environment and circumstances.

In each case, following their deliverance, they are told to give thanks to the Lord because 1) He is good, and 2) His love is steadfast and eternal toward those who call upon His name. Verses 35-38 wax eloquent concerning the extent of God’s goodness and provision, reversing earlier curses for sinfulness:
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards  and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish.
During this Thanksgiving season and as we come to the close of another year, these verses resonate with special meaning as we contemplate the Lord’s provisions during 2013. Perhaps your circumstances during this year have been filled with trials and distresses. Perhaps this has been a year of restoration or continued blessing beyond your expectations or deserving.

We at Greenville Seminary have experienced times of both trial and blessing. We lost Trustee Doug Clark and several good friends and supporters unto death. We have also been overwhelmed at times by the generosity and godly praises of others. Our student body has grown; faculty changes have occurred; one of our co-founders and beloved professors Morton Smith is retiring; and more and more churchmen are seeing us as a bastion of biblical commitment in the face of growing drift in the church. These are but a few of the noteworthy factors of life at GPTS this year.

We may never be a wealthy or well-endowed institution. But we consider ourselves greatly blessed and privileged to have been called by God to raise up new generations of faithful preachers and Kingdom workers. And we have been doubly blessed by having the support of Christians who feel as strongly as we do about standing firm on the Word of God and the historic faith. We ask you to uphold us in prayers of intercession and thanksgiving.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” (Psalm 107:1-2).