Tuesday, November 3, 2015
THANKSGIVING — 2015
“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
God’s good hand provides everything that we need and much more every day! What is at the top of your “thanks list” to God? Things or God Himself? Health or God’s treasures? Happiness or His joy? And the list goes on.
The NIV instructs us in verses 16, 17, 18 of 1 Thess. chapter 5 how to be able to offer paeans of thankfulness: “Be joyful always, pray continually” and one more, “give thanks in all circumstances.” Ouch! How? We can thank Him for His presence and strength that will carry us through the deepest distress. Remember: God is not dead. At the same time remember: God has purposes to be accomplished that are beyond our wildest comprehension.
Another commentary presents Romans 8:28. If that verse is reliable, and we know it is, then a Christian ought to be able to “praise the Lord at all times, in all circumstance, and for everything, just as long as in doing so we do not excuse sin” (Believer’s Bible Commentary).
“Giving thanks to God should be the Christian’s native emotion.”
God provides us with wisdom, strength, power, infinite love, and unmerited grace. He also gives us talents and abilities to enjoy things of this life. Every mercy He gives increases our obligation to Him. Thanksgiving is never out of season!
“In everything we should give thanks; let us acknowledge that for the Christian, all things are ordained by His wisdom, subject to His will, sanctified by His blessing, according to His promises, and flowing from His love. All our blessings come through Jesus, and all our praises must ascend through Him, for our Father only accepts what is presented in the name of His beloved Son” (James Smith, The Remembrancer).
Martin Rinckart, the German author of “Now Thank We All Our God,” lost his wife in the severe epidemic of 1637. He was driven to despair to find food and clothes for his children. Yet he triumphed to pen, “O may this bounteous God thro’ all our life be near us, With ever joyful hearts, And blessed peace to cheer us.” Note the first stanza expresses God’s “countless gifts of love.” The last stanza is a doxology of praise to the “all powerful, eternal, triune God.”
A paraplegic, wheeling himself among the busy crowd was asked how he could sing in his condition. He answered with a smile, “When I stopped at what I had lost and concentrated on all I had left, I found much for which I could rejoice and be happy.”
The grand finale: “To God be the glory—great things He hath done.”