Traditionally, around this time of year, people celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. With its roots in Christianity, each year on the fourth Thursday of November, people from all over recount the story of the Pilgrim's Thanksgiving with the Native Americans. (Second Monday in Canada) Although many Americans assume the first Thanksgiving was celebrated at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, there is evidence that is may have been celebrated as early as 1565 in Florida and 1578 in Canada. (Photo credit to: CDF Worldview)
However, unlike many other websites, blogs, and other sources today, I will not be covering the history of thanksgiving. I may another time, but it may be best to take a moment, and think. Ask yourself, "what am I thankful for?" Personally, I am thankful for the friends and family that the Lord has given me.
I am thankful for each day that I am given to further his kingdom, to learn, and spread truth. But ultimately, I am thankful that that the Creator of the Universe would enter into his creation to die on a cross, suffering pain and anguish to pay the penalty for each and every sin we have and ever will ever commit - for our past, present, and future sins - that He would go to such great lengths just so that we could be saved from the fires of Hell, so He suffered death for us that we may live with him in paradise.
As this is a celebrated holiday, let us take a look at what God's Word tells us about thankfulness - and what we can be thankful for. Psalm 31:19 says, "How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of all on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues." Amen.
Psalm 95:1-6, "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and make joyful noise unto him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord God our Maker." Thank you, Lord.
Again, the intention of this entry is merely to think to ourselves, not of the bad in life, because we could complain on and on - but to give thanks, to glorify the Lord. Psalm 100 says, "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 107:1, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love endures forever." (See entry: "His Love Endures Forever") 1st Chronicles 29:11-13 says, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
Again, we ought to examine our hearts and minds. What are we truly thankful for? Is it our job? Our home? Our lives? Our family? Friends? Some are dissatisfied with theirs, others are not. Perhaps we are thankful for the little things. For the ability to breath, to walk, to taste, to breath. To smell, to hear, to whistle, to laugh. Some have impaired ability in these areas, others do not, making us treasure them and be thankful all the more.
Perhaps you are thankful to be simply be alive. Maybe you are thankful for a friend, a family member. Maybe a companion, or perhaps a pet. Maybe you are thankful for God's Creation. We all have different reasons to be thankful.
Regardless of when you may be reading this, be it the day of Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year, I hope you can find something to be thankful for. There is a song, based off of several different Psalms, which I believe fits this entry perfectly. Here are the lyrics - by no one in particular, there are many covers of this song, it is a well-known song:
"This is the day, this is the day
That the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made
We will rejoice, we will rejoice
And be glad in it, and be glad in it
This is the day that the Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day, this is the day
That the Lord hath made"
"I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter His courts with praise
I will say this is the day that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for he has made me glad"
"He has made me glad, He has made me glad
I will rejoice for He has made me glad
He has made me glad, He has made me glad
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!"
Are we thankful for the sacrifice Jesus Christ gave so that we can live through him? Some of you who are reading this may not be Christian. Each person has different reasons. Perhaps you were raised in church, but when you were taught by the world, though you attended church, you did not believe it any more than you would a fairy tale. Perhaps you have seen the evidence for God, the proof, but do not believe it - will not accept it, for certain reasons.
Perhaps you do not believe because you believe it implausible. As said, each person has their own reasons. By taking a look at past entries, you can get a taste of some of the evidences for Creation, for the existence of God, for the truth of Christianity. But what each and every person needs to understand is this: The Creator of the Universe entered into his Creation, to live a perfect life, and die on a cross, literally giving his blood to atone - to cover, pay the penalty, for the sins of humanity.
Every sin that you have ever committed, every sin that you will ever commit - he died, paying the penalty for those sins, so that you would not have to. But what happened? The Creator, Jesus Christ, born in the town of Bethlehem, raised as a carpenter in Nazareth, never having studied what we now call the Old Testament, taking on a three-year ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and miracles - ending with his death on a cross... was concluded three days later, by his resurrection.
It is in this resurrection that we find our hope. God tells us all throughout his Word that whoever believes that his Son, Jesus Christ, died and rose again, and accepts him as Savior, also confessing their sins to God - asking forgiveness for sins - will be saved. We have hope, "because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself." (2nd Corinthians 4:14) If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, here is an open invitation to do so. We ought to be thankful that Jesus Christ died for our sakes so that we may live.
We have a lot to be thankful for. Colossians 3:15-17 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through the psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Thank you for taking the time to read this entry of "The Truth." I understand that this has not been the most informative, insightful entry, but that was not the intention. Sometimes, we need to just sit back, take a moment, and think to ourselves... What are we thankful for? As always, email email@example.com, comment, or you can visit the facebook. God bless - and I ask once more - What Are You Thankful For? Troy Hillman