Thanksgiving is only a few days away. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the relaxation and fellowship with family and friends around the Thanksgiving meal. Then there is the grandest of American traditions, laying on the couch while watching parades and football, all the while drifting in and out of a nap. Yep, Thanksgiving Day is a great day of the year. Of course, this line of thinking set me to wondering how many people are truly thankful, especially given that we have this national holiday set aside for that very purpose? Here are a few thoughts we might consider together when it comes to being thankful.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) said thankful means to be, “conscious of benefit received.” The same source went on to say that thanksgiving is a, “public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.” If I could summarize the idea here, we might say that thanksgiving is a time when we pause to both recognize the benefits we receive from God while at the same time expressing to God our gratitude for His goodness to us. Here is a short list of some of the things we should be thankful for;
1. Our freedom and security. There are places in the world where it is dangerous to live. God has blessed us with a nation where we might live, raise our families, and enjoy productive lives with relative immunity from fear and danger.
2. Abundance of material things. We are blessed to live in the land of plenty. God has blessed this nation with multiplied abundance in everything needed of life.
3. God’s mercy, grace, and longsuffering. Psalm 7.11b says, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Our individual and national sin offends God because He is holy. We deserve God’s judgment and yet He is patient with us, working through His Word to draw lost men and women to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter said, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3.9). God is not slack in that his promised judgment for sin will come in the appointed time. However, God’s desire is for all men to be saved. Let us be thankful that God has made provision in His Son, Jesus Christ, for lost people to be saved.
4. For being saved. The most thankful people on the face of the planet should be Christians, those who are born again spiritually by faith in Jesus Christ. The Psalmist said, “I love the LORD, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116.1). The Psalmist continued later by saying, “I will offer thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116.17). Every saved man and women should offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving for all He has done for us.