In this message, Dr. Stanley walks with us through a number of Psalms that extol the greatness of our God. These verses lift our attention from earthly circumstances and inspire us to respond to His gracious favor with grateful hearts. When we focus on the Lord, we cultivate a spirit of gratitude that recognizes His goodness, guidance, and provision. He is worthy of all praise and every thanksgiving! For more messages from Charles Stanley, including this week’s broadcast, go to

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Dr. Charles Stanley: When you
think of Thanksgiving, what do

you think about?

Do you think about the landing
of the Pilgrims in 1620

on this shore after a long hard
trip across the Atlantic?

Or do you think about the
landing of turkey and dressing

on your plate at your house on
Thanksgiving morning?

Well, either one would be okay.

But don’t you know that they
were grateful beyond all

measure, leaving their land
of difficulty and hardship,

especially about their religion,
their faith?

And coming to a new land
unknown, adventurous, uncertain

probably lots of hardships
but they were free.

They were free to worship God
the way they intended.

And when I think about
Thanksgiving I think about what

they must have thought about on
that first Thanksgiving that

they observed and probably they
would have read the

hundred Psalm.

So I want us to read this
hundredth Psalm and then I want

to talk about what God
has saying to us in it.

“Shout joyfully to the Lord,
all the earth.

Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with

joyful singing.

Know that the Lord Himself is
God; it is He who has made us,

and we not we ourselves; we are
His people and the sheep of

His pasture.

Enter His gates with
thanksgiving and His courts

with praise.

Give thanks to Him,
bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His
kindness is everlasting and

His faithfulness to
all generations.”

What an awesome Psalm.

And if you’ll think about it for
a moment there is not a single

negative note in
that whole Psalm.

It’s all positive.

It’s all about God, and it’s
all about who He is and

what He does.

And it certainly ought to be
our attitude and though our

circumstances today were
probably like theirs.

They left because they
were afraid.

They left because they didn’t
have religious freedom.

They left the continent because
they wanted a new beginning,

and a new start, and a new life.

And every time a person trusts
the Lord Jesus Christ as their

personal Savior,
they’re born again.

It’s the beginning
of a new life.

Does that mean the end of
problems and heartaches,

and burdens?

No, and neither did that mean
that for them because there were

Indians to face, and cold
winters, and all the rest.

And so, life was new, but it
was a beginning of a whole

new perspective on life.

And when I read this Psalm
I think about how positive it is

in every single way, and I think
about all the things we have

to be grateful for.

So I want us to look at this
Psalm in the light of what God

is saying to us, and what our
attitude ought to be toward Him

in spite of all the things
that we see today.

So, I want us to look at it in
the light first of all of how

positive it is.

Look at this: “Shout
joyfully to the Lord.

Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with

joyful singing.

Know that the Lord
Himself is God.

Enter His gates with

Give thanks to Him,
bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His
kindness is everlasting and

His faithfulness to
all generations.”

Think about all that God has
said in those few verses.

We’re to shout, serve, come,
know, enter His gates, enter His

courts, give Him thanks,
and bless His name.

Think about it.

Look back over all the weeks of
this year how good God has been

to you, and all the kind of ways
He’s been good.

So, what does He say?

Shout about Him, serve Him, to
come before Him, know Him, enter

His gates, enter His courts with
praise, give thanks, and bless

His name.

We have lots to be grateful for.

And then I think about in this
passage the Lord is a key figure

in this Psalm.

He’s our creator.

He’s the Good Shepherd,
the Provider, the Protector.

He’s good to us, loving kindness
is everlasting,

faithful forever.

When you think about God,
think about how awesome He is.

How good He is to you every day.

You could go to sleep, and could
have gone to sleep last night

and not woke up
this morning.

You could have.
Who woke you up?

You say, “I woke myself up.”
No, you didn’t.

Let me tell you something.

God wakes us up every morning.

You may have to have an alarm,
but God’s still’s the One

that wakes you up.

He’s the One who gives you
good attitude about the day.

He’s the One who enabled you to
love someone whom you’re married

to, love your children, love
your husband, love your wife.

You are blessed, and we have
much to be grateful for to God.

And this Psalm is all
about giving thanks to God.

So I wonder how often in a given
week or a month, you just stop

and give thanks to God?

Just say, “Lord I just
want to thank You.

I want to thank You, thank You,
thank You, Jesus.

I want to thank You
that I can talk to You.

I want to thank You
that You hear me.

And Lord there’s a lot of things
going on in this world I don’t

like, but You’re God and You’re
going to make it turn out

to suit You no matter what.

You’re Jehovah God.”

We have Him to praise and
to sing praises to.

And I love this Psalm because
it’s all about Him.

Now, many times in the Psalms
we’re admonished to make

a joyful noise.

And oftentimes we forget that,
moan and groan, and talk about

how bad things are.

The–watch this–the world is
always going to be bad,

but watch this–you and I, no
matter what the world does,

we live in this awesome capsule
of the grace of God, Almighty

God is in our life protecting
us, watching over us,

and caring for us.

And even when we go through
times of sickness, and

heartache, disappointment,
He hasn’t changed.

Think about this.

Your friends come and go.

And sometimes the friends you
think are the most faithful and

loyal are not there
when you need them.

I love it because God’s name is
mentioned thirty-one times in

the first book of the Bible.

This book is all about God.

And when we come to
Thanksgiving, He’s the object

of our thanksgiving.

And so, when I think about the
Psalms–so I want you to turn to

several of them and just
read them together.

And if you’ll look in
Psalm sixty-six first.

Psalm sixty-six first, and I
want us to read it and look at

it and see what God is saying
because He says the same thing

in every one of them.

Psalm sixty-six,
verse one and two.

Look at this: “Shout.”

Well, that’s not very good.

Shout, how?

“Joyfully to God, all the
earth; sing the glory of His

name; make His praise glorious.”

That is when he says shout
joyfully: cheerfully, happily,

lighthearted, thrilled, the
excited about the fact that

we love God.

“Shout joyfully to God,
all the earth.”

And then go to if you will, to
Psalm eighty-one and let’s look

at that for a moment.

Psalm eighty-one and
look at these verses.

Again, the Scriptures says,
“Sing for joy to God our

strength; shout joyfully
to the God of Jacob.

Raise a song,
strike the timbrel.

Blow the trumpet.”

These people made a noise
serving God, and oftentimes

we think about being reverent.

Well, there are ways
to be reverent.

And I think about churches for
example, where you’re supposed

to walk in and be quiet.

Don’t say anything and
everybody is quiet.

The choir sings a quiet hymn,
and the pastor gets up, and very

quietly reads a passage of
Scripture, and says a few things

quietly, and you go out quietly.

Listen, he says shout joyfully.

Then if you’ll turn to
the ninety-fifth Psalm.

Ninety-fifth Psalm
verse one and two.

Look at that.

“O come, let us sing for joy to
the Lord, let us shout joyfully

to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence
with thanksgiving, let us shout

joyfully to Him with psalms.”

Isn’t it interesting that the
psalmist says every time we’re

to shout joyfully?

You can’t shout joyfully
and be quiet.

You say, “Well, I thought you
should come to church

and be reverent?”

Reverence doesn’t always
mean quietness.

It means an attitude.

A reverence it an attitude
about the One I’m serving.

I can reverence for God and
shout to the ends of the earth.

I can reverence God
and be absolutely quiet.

Reverencing God speaks of our
acknowledgement of Him, who

He is, and all that He is.

And think about what
He’s done in your life.

Every single one of us has a
reason to be grateful to God

and to shout His praises.

And yet we’re taught
to be reverent.

Be quiet when you go to church
and reverence God.

But when I look at the Psalms
there’s nothing quiet

about that.

Listen to it.

“Shout joyfully.”
“Shout joyfully.”

“Shout joyfully.”
“Shout joyfully.”

In this ninety-eighth Psalm:
“Shout joyfully to the Lord,

all the earth;
break–“listen–“break forth

and sing for joy
and sing praises.”

That’s what the choir does,
and we sing with them.

“Sing praises to the Lord with
the lyre,” that’s a string

instrument, “with the lyre
and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and a sound of
the horn, shout joyfully before

the King, and the Lord.”

When I read those passages,
I think, there should be such

a joy in our hearts.

And listen, if you’re not joyful
in a joyful church, you’re not

going to be joyful
in a quiet house.

And I think God has us meet
weekly to be reminded of the

truth of God’s Word, to reminded
to be reminded of who He is

and what He’s doing in our life.

We all have to be reminded,
because we can all get caught up

in what we do day after day
and week after week.

And once in a while when I’m
sitting home studying, I’ve been

studying for a long time that
day I just find myself thinking

well, I’m getting down
in all this.

So I just walk through my
house and praise God.

You ask me what do I say?

Whatever comes to my mind.

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank You that I’ve learned
something new.

Thank You that You’re
in my heart.

Thank You that You’re getting
me ready for this.

Thank You, thank You,
thank You, God.

Who hears me?

Nobody but God.

Doesn’t make any difference
because I’m not talking

to anybody but God.

You have a right to be
quiet and worship Him.

You have the right, the
privilege, and the biblical

reason to shout as loud
as necessary if that’s

the expression of your heart.

That is, we are to make a holy
noise before God, praising Him

and thanking Him.

And so, these verses, these are
just a few verses in the Psalms,

and then let’s think about this
in listening to these Psalms,

and how God speaks to us, and
there are many other verses,

but there are seven reasons for
our joyful thanksgiving,

if you’ll think about all these
verses that we’ve read.

And the first one is this:
He’s our God.

To think–listen, there are many
gods created by many people down

through the ages.

Many gods, and they
worshiped them.

They’re gods that
do not exist.

They’re gods that are
in their mind.

There are gods that have
they’ve been taught.

And that–it’s idolatry, but we
have a reason to shout

to holy God.

And so, if you think about this,
that the first chapter of the

first book of the Bible
is all about who?

It’s all about God.

It is an expression of God.

What’s the expression of God?

It’s creation.

“In the beginning, God created.”

It’s all about God, the Creator.

And sometime we forget that and
think about all of the things He

created, but He intends for us
to know that He’s the source

of all creation.

He’s still the Creator.

He’s the One who created
a new life within you.

You were born-again.

Almighty God, sovereign
Lord of the universe.

Jesus Christ His Son.

We have so much to
be grateful for.

He is our God.

Secondly, He made us,
we didn’t make ourselves.

He gave, listen–He
gave you life.

He gave you the
privilege to live.

He gave you gifts and
talents and skills.

You compare yourself with
somebody else, you can’t do

that, God didn’t make him
and you alike, He made us

all differently.

He made us all for a purpose.

He’s the God who has created us,
and He’s the God who’s made us,

and He’s not made any mistakes.

Anything and everything in
our life God has allowed

for a reason.

So think, He’s our God, He made
us and we’re His people.

That’s what the Scripture says,
we’re His people.

We’re the people of God.

You’re not just somebody, you’re
a child of God, and we have

a reason to shout
to the world that.

And then of course, He says,
we’re the sheep of His pasture.

Think about that.

Think about how
intimate this is.

He says He’s made us, and
He’s made us for Himself.

We’re His people, we belong
to Him, we’re the sheep

of His pasture.

What a beautiful way of
speaking about our relationship

to Him.

Think about all the other
animals and so forth

in the world.

Sheep and a shepherd,
doesn’t that sound like God?

Why is–why did God choose that
relationship in the Scripture?

Because He loves us and because
He wants us to know that His

attitude toward us is, He
shepherds us, watches over us,

cares for us, protects
us, guides us,

that’s what shepherds do.

Never forget this–my first trip
to the Holy Land we were sitting

in this restaurant and eating,
and I was sitting next to the

window, and I saw three
shepherds bring their sheep

together at a well, and
everything else was going, and I

just happened to be watching
this, and I was watching out

of curiosity because all those
sheep mix up with each other.

And I thought what a mess
that’s gonna be.

I couldn’t hear what was saying,
but I did see this shepherd,

one of these shepherds lifted up
his rod and said a few things.

I couldn’t tell
what he was saying.

I watched those sheep separate
according to the voice of that

shepherd, until they were all
going in a different direction,

and what bought them away from
the water to follow a shepherd

was the voice that they knew.

Their shepherd they knew
which to follow.

And I’ll never forget
there thinking God,

I hope I’m like that.

I hope I can live such a life
that whenever Your voice come,

I’ll know it’s You, it’s not the
devil, it’s not somebody else,

it’s You.

And when He says, we’re the
sheep of His pasture, and He

didn’t just say we’re His sheep
of His pasture which means

He’s the Provider.

He’s the Provider, the Shepherd.

We’re His sheep.

Now, sometimes we may act like
goats, but we’re not goats,

we’re sheep, and if a person
is lost, they fit the goat

attitude, probably, but we’re
the sheep of His pasture.

We have a shepherd, we have
somebody to protect us, to

provide for us, to guide us,
to lead us.

Shepherds protect their sheep,
shepherds provide for them,

shepherds watch over them, and
it’s interesting–sheep know

their shepherd’s voice.

And I wonder if you know the
voice of God in your life.

Do you know when God is
speaking to you, that’s not

just your attitude?

It’s not just something
you’ve thought up.

Can you say that you can
identify the voice of God

when He speaks to you?

I think there’s one thing that
I learned very early in life,

and it probably was my
Pentecostal background,

a little bit, because somehow
their emphasis on prayer made me

conscious of the fact
that God would speak to me

if I would listen to Him.

And I was saved when I was
twelve, and so one of the first

things I wanted to do is to
learn how to listen to Him.

Didn’t take me long, and I
remember saying, “Lord, I don’t

know what all that means,
but I do want to learn to be

able to listen to You,
and to know that You’re

the who’s speaking to me.”

And if you’ll think about it for
a moment, what more valuable

lesson can you learn than
to listen to the Shepherd?

You say, “Well, I don’t
think God speaks to me.”

Yes, He does, you may not
listen, that’s your fault.

Does God speak to you?

Yes, He does.

And God intends for us
to listen to Him.

We’re the sheep of His pasture.

Not just sheep, the
sheep of His pasture.

We have a Shepherd, not two
shepherds, just one Shepherd:

the Lord Jesus.

When you trusted Him as your
Savior, He did an awesome thing.

He came into your life, into
your spirit, and to live His

life through you.

So we have His voice, we have
His protection, we have His

provision, we have the pathway
that He wants us to walk.

When I think about how
intimately loving and personal

God is, we should never feel
like a stranger.

You should never
have to feel alone.

Now I know there’s a certain
amount of aloneness when you’re

by yourself if you happen to
live by yourself, or whatever it

might be.

But not alone.

Once you receive Jesus Christ
as your Savior, He’s in you.

He is–watch this–watch
this carefully–He is the

Shepherd who has created every
single thing that exists,

and He’s your Shepherd.

Do you acknowledge Him as that?

Do you see Him as that?

Do you think of Him as being
your personal Shepherd?

He is, and we’re His sheep.

Now we don’t always
obey the Shepherd,

and you know what He does?

That’s why He has a rod.


Well, you know, God still
has a rod, thank God

He doesn’t let us get so far.

And why do you think there’s
a hook on the other end

of that rod?

Pull him back.

How many times has God pulled
you and me back in times

of trial, or temptation,
or whatever it might be,

by His grace and love and mercy.

An awesome God He is.

And when you read Genesis
chapter one, it’s all about God.

The–watch this–the rest of the
Bible is about God dealing with

His sheep, and He loves us.

He loves us, eternally,
completely, absolutely enough

to cause us to
fellowship with Him.

To praise Him, to shout His
glory and His praises, and

to give Him thanks.

He’s our God, He made us, we’re
His people the Scripture says.

We’re the sheep of His pasture.

God is good.

And if you had to sit down this
morning and write out a little

biographical sketch of the good
things God’s done in your life

throughout your life, you could
fill up probably half a book.

At least twenty or thirty or
forty pages maybe of how God’s

been good to you.

Now you can take another pen,
another book and write down all

the things that’s happened to
you that were not so good.

I assure you when you count
correctly the good things that

God has done in your life far
outweighs the difficulty,

hardship, and pain
that you’ve suffered.

But somehow we forget that.

We forget how good He’s been
because we’ve all been through

difficult times.

We’ve all hurt; we’ve
suffered physically,

we hurt suffered emotionally.

We’ve all been through
difficult times but we all–

listen to this–we all live in
godly times because you are

filled with the Spirit of God.

Your name has been written
in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

You’re on your way to Heaven no
matter what the world does,

the whole thing can blow
up and it’s not going to

affect your eternal life.

We forget how good God is.

We can sing about it once or
twice a year but think about

how good He’s been to you.

You say, “Well, but you
just don’t know how bad

it’s been for me.”

No, you don’t know how bad it’s
been for people around you.

But the truth is He’s
been good to you.

Because even in the difficult
times God showed up.

When you were in need
God showed up.

When you were sick He showed up.

When you were lonely
He showed up.

When you were going through
times that you couldn’t share

with anybody else and you were
lonely and you were fed up with

life and you thought about
ending it, He showed up.


Because He’s an awesome,
good God and the Bible says

His lovingkindness
endures forever.

Think about this, when you and I
are going through a tough time,

we have His lovingkindness.

Now we may not recognize it,
but we have His lovingkindness.

Sometimes you say, “Well,
why does God chastise us?”

Because He loves us.

And if a sheep gets astray,
the shepherd goes after the

sheep and depends upon where the
sheep or how far, or whatever.

He may have to tap him a little
bit to remind him not to do

that again.

Watch this carefully–can you
honestly say that you’re happy

when God chastises you?

Can you say that, amen?

I didn’t think I’d
get much on that.

Think about this.

If God never chastised us,
what would we do?

We’d keep going till
we went over the hill,

fall off the mountain.

It is God’s loving hand that
chastises us, to remind us don’t

walk out of His will,
there’s danger over there.

You’re going to regret it.

You’re going to find yourself
in trouble, just stay

with the pack.

Follow the Shepherd,
listen to His voice.

Because the Shepherd’s always
going to provide what we need,

when we need it, how we need it.

Does that mean there’ll never be
rainy days, hard days,

difficult days, rocky
days to walk on?


But the Good Shepherd is there
to protect us and to guide us.

This Psalm is all about God’s
goodness, and our worship of

Him, and our recognition
of who He is.

And so, His faithfulness
continues with us throughout

all generations.

That is–watch this–you will
never have a moment of your life

when God ceases to be faithful.

He will always be faithful.

He will always be
who He says He is.

He will always do
what He says He’ll do.

And when I think about our
Heavenly Father always being who

He is, always doing what He
says, always providing what He

promise, always being
with us through any and

every circumstance of life.

We should shout hallelujah,
praise to God continually.

This is the God whom we serve,
not the god the world serves,

because the god the world serves
is all confused; it’s mixed up

with good, bad, and indifferent,
and they pacify themselves while

saying, “Well, God understands.”

The god the world serves is not
the God of the Bible, it’s the

god of the devil that
compromises sin and makes sin

acceptable, and misleads people
to do evil, to think evil,

to become evil.

That’s not the God of the Bible.

You and I have a God who cares
so much for us that He loves us

enough to chastise us, to keep
us in the center of His will

which is the place we
understand and experience

the love of God most.

So when I think about it, and
think about all of that this

says to us, it speaks to me
of His untiring goodness,

continuous goodness
toward us, always.

His sacrificial love for us,
think about the cross, and His

eternal faithfulness to us.

Think of those three things.

His untiring goodness
is always there.

His sacrificial love for us,
always there.

His eternal faithfulness to us,
we don’t ever have to worry

about Him changing.

That’s the awesome God we serve,
we should praise Him

and thank Him,
and glorify His name.

You say, “Well, I believe
He’s forgotten me.”


You may have forgotten him, and
you may be one of those sheep

that’s gone astray.

But if you’ll notice in the
Scripture, watch this–

are you listening?

Say amen.

Jesus never whipped a sheep.

Never beat a sheep.

But He went after the sheep
and brought them back.

And so, you may feel like,
“Well, I know I was saved back

yonder somewhere but God sort of
forgotten me because I back slid

and got into this
and got into that.”


I’ll tell what the situation is.

You’re living in sin and the
Good Shepherd is waiting for you

to come home.

You say, “Well, how
do I come home?”

By asking Him to forgive
you of your sins.

Asking Him to help you get
your life back together.

Asking Him to encourage you and
show you the way and thank Him

for His forgiveness.

And thank Him for His
goodness toward you.

The Good Shepherd
doesn’t beat His sheep.

It’s the sheep who go astray
and He comes after us

to bring us home.

When I think about God’s awesome
love and I think about this

awesome psalm:
“Shout joy to the Lord,

the Good Shepherd.”

And the Good Shepherd will be
your Shepherd to guide you,

lead you, protect you, watch
over you through the last moment

of your life.

When you breathe your last
breath, you’ll see Him

for the first time.

What an awesome eternal
thought that is.

If you have never trusted
Jesus Christ as your Savior,

you won’t see Him.

You’ll be eternally
separated from Him.

You say, “Well,
that’s not fair.”

He’s warned you, He’s told you,
He’s sent the message to you

over and over, and over again.

And why have you rejected Him?

The one person you need in your
life above everybody else

is Jesus.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor
and are heavy laden,

and I’ll give you rest.”

“For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten

Son, that whoever believes in
Him will have eternal life.”

If you confess your sins, He’s
faithful and just to forgive you

of your sins and to cleanse you
from all unrighteousness.

Why fight God?

When you can receive the Lord
Jesus Christ as your Savior,

everything changes.

Your name is written instantly
in the Lamb’s Book of Life

from which there
are no erasures.

And when you breathe your last
breath, the first person you

will see is the Good Shepherd,
the Lord Jesus.

Is that not worth praising
God for?


Let’s give God a hand.

Praise God.

[congregation applauding]

Father, we thank you and praise
you for Your goodness and

love and mercy toward us
that’s indescribable.

Praise, thanksgiving,
and blessing to You.

Thank you for loving us.

Thank you for putting up
with us.

Thank you for forgiving us.

Thank you for being here for us
twenty-four hours a day knowing

everything about us, know how to
heal us from any and everything.

And know how to bless us.

We just bless you this
morning in Jesus’s name.