Thank God for God!

Title: Thank God for God!

Bible Book: Psalms 97

Author: Steve Wagers

Subject: Salvation; Gratitude; Thanksgiving; Praise; God, Greatness of



A college professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated he was going to prove there was no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes.

The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting." His countdown got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine - just released from active duty and newly registered in the class - walked up to the professor, hit him full force, and sent him tumbling from his lofty platform. The professor was out cold!

At first, the students were shocked and babbled on in confusion. The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent. The class fell silent...waiting. Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front row. When the professor regained his senses and could speak he asked: "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?" "God was busy...He sent me."

J. I. Packer:

"Disregard the study of God and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul."

When we express our thanks, most often than not it is to for the things which God does. We are thankful for the visible, what we can see; and, not for the invisible, WHO we can’t see.

Yet, more than we should be thankful for what God does, we should most thankful for WHO GOD IS.

Everyday, we should thank God for God!


Theme of Psalm 97 is the supreme preeminence of God.

The average person’s God is not too big, but too small.

Yet, the God of the Bible that the universe cannot contain Him; yet, He is so small that He can live within our hearts.

"How big is God, how big and wide?

His vast domain to try to tell, these lips can only start.

He’s big enough to rule this mighty universe;

Yet, small enough to live within my heart."

Benjamin Franklin:

“I have lived a long time, and I am ever more convinced that God governs the affairs of men.”

Daniel 4: 25, “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”

Proverbs 21: 1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithsoever He will.”

The king may hold the title, but GOD IS ON THE THRONE!

Because of His supreme preeminence, we can rest assured that nothing can happen apart from:


[v. 1] “The Lord reigneth”

[v. 9] He is “exalted far above all gods.”

Whatever happens must first be sifted through the Sovereign fingers of Almighty God.

“God may not will every circumstance, but He has a will FOR every circumstance.”

God’s will is for all men to go to Heaven, yet millions will go to hell. God doesn’t desire it, and He didn’t design it; but, if it happens, He must allow it.

B. God’s AWARENESS  [Vv. 2-6]

“The heavens declares his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”

Proverbs 15: 3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

Matthew 5: 45, “He maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”


There is no plan B in Heaven, because plan A works every time as far as God is concerned.

5 words not in God’s vocabulary:



[v. 2] “Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.”

God’s dwelling place and habitation are righteousness and justice.

Whatever He does is right, and can never be wrong!

Genesis 18: 25, “Shall not the judge of all the earth DO RIGHT?”

Lady once asked me, “Pastor, where was God the day my son was killed?” I said, “He was the same place He was the day His Son was killed. He was still on the throne, still in charge and nothing out of His sight.”

F. B. Meyer, "As the brook hides the footprints which are imprinted on its soft ooze, so are God's footprints hidden. We cannot detect his great and wonderful secrets. He marches through the ages with steps we cannot track.”

God’s ways are marvelous, miraculous and mysterious. We cannot see them, we may not know them, and we will not understand them.

I understand my wife better than I understand God; and, I don’t always understand my wife!

Yet, He is still the God of supreme preeminence, and I thank Him for it.


We know that God is all-powerful (omnipotent), but the Psalmist speaks of God’s power as it relates to God’s people.

His power makes Him able:

A. To PURIFY His People

[v. 10a] “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.”

The indication is that if we love the Lord, then we will hate sin. God will give us the power to “hate evil.”

You should me how much you hate sin, and I will show you how much you love God.

A group of fraternity fellows pulled a college prank. They stole a goat, which was the college mascot and placed it in the boys’ dorm. One boy, fearful that they would be found out asked, “What about the smell?” The fraternity head said, “The goat will have to get used to it!”

Many Christians have “gotten used” to sin. But, God never saved us in our sin, but FROM our sin.

B. To PRESERVE His People

{v. 10b] “He preserveth the souls of his saints.”

God’s past occupation was to pardon us, but His present occupation is to PRESEVE us.

His past work was to save us; but, His present work is to KEEP US SAVED.

Thus, if a man could be able to lose salvation, it would not be a failure on man’s part, but on God’s part.

C. To PROTECT His People

[v. 10c] “he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Aren’t you glad to know that God is building a hedge of protection around us? He is protecting us from self, from sin and from Satan.

We should thank Him for it.

III. His SPECIAL PROVISION!  [v. 11, 12]

2 things God has given to His people that He hasn’t given to anyone else: LIGHT & LAUGHTER!

A. We will be GUIDED by the Lord

[v. 11] “Light is sown for the righteous”

Light removes/light reveals. It guides our path.

His Word is to become a “lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.”

B. We can be GLAD in the Lord

Man visited Metropolitan Tabernacle and wrote Spurgeon a letter after his visit. In his letter he said, “He was convinced that it wasn’t a Baptist church. For one thing, the crowd was too large; and, for another thing, the people seemed so happy.” He said, “When I watched the joy on their faces, I knew that these people did not recognize the depravity of their own heart, else they would not have been so happy.”

Yet, it is because I know the depravity of my heart, where I was and what I was before God saved me that makes me happy.

You ask me why I’m happy,

Then, I’ll just tell you why

Because my sins are gone.

Contrary to what most Baptists think, GOD WANTS HIS PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY!

[v. 11b] He has sown “gladness for the upright in heart.”

Someone who is guided by the Lord will be glad in the Lord. A person who truly knows God will be a healthy person, a holy person, and a HAPPY person.

C. We should be GRATEFUL for the Lord

After all that God is to us, and after all that God has done for us, we should have no problem being grateful for the Lord.

[v. 12] “Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”

We should thank God for God. We should be grateful for His preeminence, His power and His provision.

C. L. Brenner was a renowned atheist who worked with Madelyn Murray O’Hare for a number of years. One day, through gospel tract, he was brought under conviction and gave his heart to Christ.

He embarked on a journey of theology, and the study of God, and wrote:

“I spent more than half of my life attempting to prove that God did not exist. Yet, in that journey, I only proved that God did exist even more. I do not know everything about God, but what I do know has radically changed my life.”


I once heard the story a about a construction worker named Johnny. He was working with a crew that working downtown on a building. One day, the pastor of a large church just a few blocks from the construction site, walked into the sanctuary of the church. There sat a construction worker in his dirty clothes and hardhat.

The pastor walked up to him asked and if he could help him. The fellow said, "Mister, I ain’t ever been in church like this. I was raised back up here in the mountains and we didn't have any churches like this. Anyway, Ma and Pa never took me to church. This is my dinner hour and I just wanted to come and see what a church like this looks like." The pastor asked him his name and he said, "My name is Johnny, Sir."

The pastor said, "Well, Johnny, you just look around." The pastor told him a little about the church and then Johnny said, "Mister, can you tell me something about your God?" The pastor began to tell him about the Lord. After a little while Johnny looked at his watch and said it was time to get back to work, but wanted to know if he could come back again and talk some more. For several days, during his lunchtime, Johnny came back and talked to the preacher about the Lord. One day Johnny bowed his head and asked the Lord to save him.

He asked the preacher, "Do you mind if I come over here during my lunchtime? It only takes me about ten or fifteen minutes to eat, and I would like to just come over and talk to the Lord." The pastor said it would be fine, and for weeks he come by and spend his lunchtime in the church auditorium.

One day the pastor was in the auditorium when Johnny came in. He didn't see the pastor. He walked down front, took off his hardhat, and then knelt in the altar. He was an uneducated and unlettered person that didn't know how to pray all those fancy prayers such as, "Thou great Jehovah, Thou who scooped out the valley and piled up the mountains," etc. He got on his knees and began to pray, "Jesus, this is Johnny. Don't want a thing today. Lord, I just wanted to tell you that I love you and thank you for saving me. Lord, you know how much I love you. I can't thank you enough for saving me. Lord, I've got to get back to work now, but thank you again for saving me."

If God never did another thing for us, we would still have reason to not only thank Him for what He’s already done, but we would have to Thank Him for being Him!

I say, “Thank God for God!”

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