What DO we have to be Thankful for?
From a Christian point of view, 2015 has been a tough year. We have seen story after story of individual Christians under attack and threatened with a loss of basic religious freedoms that has been enjoyed throughout our Nation’s history. It seems, over the last year, that American society has plummeted off the moral cliff. As we watch those around us disappear into the moral-less abyss we can start to feel alone. It hurts to watch society as a whole, our coworkers, our friends, or maybe even our own family members deny the truths and freedoms found through God and His perfect Word. Feelings of loneliness and pain cause us to start to wonder if there is any hope. This condition can quickly turn into hopelessness. Hopelessness steals and destroys our thankfulness. And this is quite simply un-Biblical, Enemy-inspired, and sinful.
God calls us to a higher standard:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6 tells us to “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Ephesians 5: 15-20 gives us wise counsel to “…be care how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days…Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So let us shake off the Enemy’s attempts to distract us from our proper focus. Our focus is to be on the good things God has done, continues to do, and promises to do in the future. Let us give thanks.
I am thankful that I live in a Country where I have the ability to practice my religion without the Government telling what religion I must follow. I am thankful for those patriotic Veterans who have fought to — are fighting to — and will fight to — defend our Constitution and the liberty and freedom contained within. I am thankful for family, friends, and citizens who stand resolutely behind those veterans. I am thankful for Christian leaders who take the light of Christ into the darkest halls. I am thankful for Christian citizens who stand behind, support, and pray for those Christian leaders.
I am thankful to be part of God’s Church, among a multitude of believers who are still standing on the promises and blessings of God. I am thankful to be counted among those standing up for His righteousness. I am thankful that I am not like Noah, the only one found righteous in the entire world. I am thankful that I am not Lot, who was the only one found righteous in his entire region. I am thankful that I am not like Elijah who felt completely alone (although God had preserved 7000 others). These three individuals actually watched nearly everyone around them plummet off the moral abyss of their time. I am thankful to have more than just a remnant of fellow courageous Christian brothers and sisters. I am thankful to be part of a force God is still actively using to achieve His purposes!
I am absolutely and humbly thankful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the eternal salvation I have been assured through His life, death, and resurrection. I am thankful to God who created me special; who has great plans for me; who blessed me with a Godly and terrific wife; who blessed me with outstanding children; and who has surrounded me with supportive family and friends. I am grateful to be counted as a child of God. What a God we serve! What a Savior we have! Thank Him for all He has done!
The classic hymn Count Your Many Blessings says it so well: “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” Now I ask you…how can we possibly NOT be thankful? Happy Thanksgiving and may God’s blessings be upon you!
Scripture source is www.biblegateway.com, New Living Translation. Emphasis added.