It is the holiday season once again with the official start being Thanksgiving of course. And it is a holiday that most all observe in some way or other. But there are far fewer who really grasp it on its deepest and most significant level – specifically the giving of praise and thanks to God!
Recent times in America have been extra difficult and traumatic. This has been seen especially in the area of domestic violence. First, it was the horrific scene at a Las Vegas concert where 58 were murdered and over 500 injured. Not long after that came the brutal attack on a Texas Church that saw some 26 executed by a lone gunman on a Sunday morning. And then shortly thereafter, another gunman went on a rampage in California. His 45-minute attack on random victims took the lives of 4.before he crashed his truck into a school building and injuring a few of the children there.
Perhaps you are wondering why I bring up a rather dismal subject at this particular season? But before answering, first let me state that the loss of every single soul, no matter where or how it occurs, is dreadful beyond words. And that is because every life matters infinitely to God. We are all made in His image according to Scripture.But there are places on earth so brutal as to make America look like Disneyland in comparison. For example, in 2010 there were nearly 41, 000 murders in Brazil alone. And the same amount occurred in India. And in places like this, these may well be a conservative numbers.
Yes, pain and agony occur everywhere. But the level of suffering in some places just defies description. And yet living in 21ST century America remains a huge blessing even with the problems that still do occur. So there needs to be proper perspective, appreciation and a thankful attitude for the many blessings, benefits and opportunities we enjoy in nation still so mightily blessed of God.
In 1Thessalonians we read this. ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ And the previous verse gives some context to these words. ‘See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone.’ We are told to rejoice constantly even in the midst of hard circumstances. We are directed to remain thankful for our blessings both large and small. And nowhere does it indicate there that we are to do these things only when life is fabulous and when we are not suffering in some way. Anyone can pull that off with little or no effort. I recently heard someone say, “I guess if you are going to have faith, it can’t just be when the miracles happen, but also when they do not’
As Christians, not only do we own the ultimate blessing of salvation through Christ, but we also possess the indwelling Spirit of God. This provides a joy and inner peace that passes all human understanding even when life becomes downright rugged. God's will is that we be thankful for what He has done for us and that we also rely on Him throughout life's many ups and downs. And I trust this will be our attitude on this Thanksgiving and on every other day of the year as well.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
‘Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Psalm 107:8-9)