How are you? How is your week going? Are you ready for Thanksgiving?
I was listening to a podcast today, and it touched upon the national holiday we will celebrate tomorrow. It was a great reminder that this holiday is historically rooted in God. The Puritans came together to thank God even after they saw much death. The early presidents set aside a day to thank God in the midst of hardship. FDR appointed a national holiday to thank God even in the midst of war.
What can we learn from this? First, Thanksgiving is rooted in God. Why are we giving thanks? The act of thanksgiving always has an object. We thank our friends for the gifts they give. We thank our parents for taking care of us. Thanksgiving always has an object. So, when we have a holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving and when we try live out a spirit of Thanksgiving, to whom are we giving thanks? Toward whom do we have an Attitude of Gratitude?
For Christians, we know the whom. It’s our Triune God. It’s our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All of humanity has been created to give thanks to Him. That’s why we see the whole nation, no matter their beliefs, come together to celebrate this holiday without any reservation. Thanksgiving is rooted in God.
Second, we see that this holiday was celebrated in the midst of suffering and difficulty. I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy for me to give thanks when life is good or when I receive a gift. However, we are called to give thanks even in the midst of difficulty. Even when we experience the worst forms of loss and injustice, we are to give thanks.
Paul says this in 1 Thessalonians 5 when he says for us “to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
How can we give thanks even in the midst of hardship? It’s much easier said than done. But we can give thanks even in the midst of difficulty, because we know the One who has the universe in His hands. He is sovereign, and He knows what He’s doing. Although we may lose everything, we have Him. We cannot lose God. That is the ultimate blessing. This has been guaranteed to us because of the cross.
That’s the root of all thanksgiving, and that’s how we can thank God in all circumstances.
As we gather around the dinner table tomorrow, let us truly thank God, not just for material blessings we have (although they are definitely worth thanking God for). But let’s thank God, because we have Him, and we can never lose Him. We can have Him because of the shameful death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39
Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and we will see you at Lord’s Day Worship on Sunday. Pray for our ministry, our worship, and one another.
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
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