Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

A Week of Thanksgiving, Day 6

O death, where is thy sting? O grace, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:55-57

Thanksgiving week is a good week.  It’s nice to have a time when people really think about a virtue like thankfulness.  Wouldn’t it be nice if other virtues had their own days?  We could have a Forgiveness Day in which we thank the Lord and others for forgiving us of the stupid things we’ve done and in which we could make it a point to extend forgiveness to those who may have wronged us.  Or we could have a Holiness Day, in which we really concentrate on drawing closer to the Lord.  Those would be nice, but I digress.  Thanksgiving is enjoyable and I have enjoyed looking at a few of the verses that tell us about being thankful.  This is the last one that we will look at and, in my opinion, gives us one of the best reasons to be thankful.

“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  That gives us the whole Thanksgiving season in one sentence.  It gives us the object of our thankfulness: “Thanks be to God…”  It gives us the reason for our thankfulness: He “giveth us the victory.”  And it gives us the source of everything we have: “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We have it all right there.  We are to thank God for our victory over sin and death that has come through our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we can’t find a reason to be thankful after reading and meditating on that, we will never be thankful.  Everything else in life for which we usually give thanks (health, family, friends, possessions) are all just an extension of this victory given to us by the Lord.

Thanksgiving may be over for this year, but let it never die in our hearts!

A Week of Thanksgiving, Day 5

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Ephesians 5:18-20

This week, we have been looking at some verses about Thanksgiving and thankfulness.  And, when you boil it down, they all say pretty much the same thing.  We are supposed to be thankful at all times and for all things.  Sometimes that is a harder assignment than others.  When everything is going well, it’s easy to be thankful.  Even the vilest, Godless heathen is thankful when things are going well.  That is what separates the Christian from the non-Christian.  The Christian has faith in God.  He has faith that, while he may not understand everything, God does understand everything and will work all things together for good.  So, no matter how bleak it may seem, the Christian can remain thankful for the Lord’s goodness and mercy.  The Christian may not even see the fruit of his faith in this lifetime, but he will be rewarded for his faith and for his thankfulness.

When you think about it, the command to be thankful for all things and at all times is really a matter of faith.  If we can believe what we have not seen, it is not a huge leap to be thankful for what we do not understand.  When something bad happens, I don’t need to understand it.  I simply need to believe that God is still in control and be thankful.

The question is this: what kind of faith do we have?  Do we have a weak faith that complains when it does not understand something?  Or do we have a faith that can truly be thankful in all things?

A Week of Thanksgiving, Day 3

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

This is sometimes a tough verse.  It’s not a tough verse to understand, but it is a tough verse by which to live.  In my opinion, the difficulty with this verse lies in it’s simplicity.  Sometimes there is a verse that is “difficult.”  It might be hard to understand.  It might somehow allow for exceptions.  This one is nothing like that.  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  Simple and straightforward.  We are supposed to give thanks in “every thing.”  And, just in case we don’t understand why we should be giving thanks in every thing, the Lord tells us that it is the “will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  We might not know God’s will for every moment of our future, but we can rest assured that God’s will will always include being thankful.

There are some things for which we are not normally thankful.  In some situations, we might have trouble being thankful.  But that does not change the command.  When things are going well, we should be giving thanks.  When things are not going so well, we should trust that the Lord knows what He is doing and give thanks.

I am constantly struck by just how encompassing “in every thing…” is.  A good thing for us to remember would be the simple fact that giving thanks is always the correct response.  No matter the situation, giving thanks is a proper response.  No matter the question, giving thanks is a correct answer.  Even in the most terrible situation, we can thank the Lord for His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us.”

God’s will is for us to be thankful.  We think about being thankful now at Thanksgiving season, but if we would be in God’s will, we would be thankful all year long.

A Week of Thanksgiving, Day 1

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Pahnuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Luke 2:36-38

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite season of the entire year.  We have so much to be thankful for, but often end up complaining and bitter because we don’t have even more.  There is not one single person out there who could not stand to be a little (or a lot) more thankful.  Every day this week, we will look at a verse or passage dealing with thankfulness.  I hope it is an encouragement to be more thankful.

In these verses we find the person to Whom our thanks is due and the main reason that we should be thanking Him.  An older lady named Anna, who had been loving and serving the Lord for years, had just seen Jesus for the first time.  As soon as she saw Him, “in that instant,” “gave thanks likewise unto the Lord…”  The minute she saw Jesus, she began thanking the Lord.  That should be us.  The minute we see or hear or think about Jesus, we should start thanking the Lord.  “In that instant gave thanks… unto the Lord.”  And why should we be giving thanks to the Lord?  The same reason as Anna:

She “spake of him to all them that looked for redemption…”  That is why we should be thankful.  Jesus brought (and bought) our redemption.  He is our Redeemer.  If there is no other reason on earth to be thankful, that is a great one.  That is why Paul could be thankful and rejoice in a Roman dungeon.  People have been tortured and killed for Christ, while being thankful the whole time to be counted worthy to suffer for His name.

Be thankful for Jesus.  Every day and at all times.