TEXT: Genesis 6:1 – 8:21
INTRO: The year 2020 has been a very difficult year worldwide. For what can we be thankful? I would like to use the case of Noah, found in Gen. 6-8 to provide answers for that question.
I. THE EVIDENCE OF THANKSGIVING. (Gen. 8:20-21)
A. READ Gen. 8:20-21. Noah could have been emotionally devastated, dealing with the issues of seeing his world destroyed, acquaintances and neighbors killed, his home left desolate – but instead, he was full of gratitude. Why??
II. REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING IN A HARD SEASON OF LIFE.
A. READ Gen. 6:5-8. Our current situation is troubling, but it is hardly comparable to the days of Noah. He had reasons for gratitude.
1.) There is a God and He is merciful and He will show grace to anyone who will earnestly seek Him. Matt. 6:25-33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and He will provide for [you].” But remember God is, God cares, and God will provide
2.) The God that exists is a God of grace. ( Vss. 6:13, 17-18.) God made Noah aware of an incredible secret, then He offers safety and life to this man who has sought to know Him. How can one not be grateful for a merciful God?
3.) God watches over us as we walk in obedience to His word. READ Gen. 6:3. 120 years: lifespan or time before the Flood? READ GEN. 6:7 God guided Noah through His word, giving direction and encouragement to accomplish what may have appeared impossible. READ Gen. 6:23. Hope provided is a source of true thanksgiving.
4.) In the uncertainty of disaster, God preserves us with His promises. READ 6:18; 7:17, 21-23. Those on the Ark had only two things to steel their resolve: the promise of God and the Ark that gave tangible proof of that promise. The only way to stay steady was to have faith in God’s word and His plan. To remember those things later could only bring forth gratitude.
5.) God faithfulness in the past led to security in the present. READ 8:1, 15.. Surely God would not forget them after keeping them safe this far. When they could hold on to nothing else, God’s faithfulness had proven steady.
B. At a time when the whole world fell to destruction, Noah, by the sheer grace of God, survived. So he took his family, built an altar, and worshipped God.
III. WHAT SHOULD BE THE MOST NATURAL ATTITUDE OF OUR HEARTS TODAY?
A. 1.) We could be afraid. EXCEPT: “Let your heart not be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.”(Jn. 14:1). “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
2.) We could feel confused. EXCEPT: “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32). “God is not a God of disorder but of peace. . . .But everything must be done decently and in order. (1 Cor. 14:33, 40). “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2). “Be still and know that I am God.” ( )
3.)We could feel angry and vengeful. EXCEPT: “If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not avenge yourselves, instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written, ‘Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay,’ says the Lord God. . . . .Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Rom. 12:18-19, 21). “Be angry, but do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” (Eph. 4:26)
4.)We could feel grateful. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus.”
Noah survived the catastrophe that destroyed the world and he did so because God was with him. God has also given us His word and His promises that will not be shaken during this time. And He has given us His Son, in whom we are seated at the right hand of God, safe and secure. Cleansed by the blood of Christ, filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit, and secure in the hands of the Father, we will ride out the storm and live lives as more than conquerors.
Even those who don’t know the Lord can be thankful in the best of times. But to be thankful in the worst of times, that takes faith!!