My local newspaper article for this Saturday
Thanksgiving is an American holiday. It was inaugurated by the Plymouth colonists. They wanted to express their thankfulness to the one true God who had led them to this country in order to have the freedom of religion. They were grateful to be freed from the tyrannical rule of a country which was forcing them to conform to the state church. It was against what they believed. They risked their lives to come to America.
We don’t have to wait for an annual holiday to be thankful. We can choose to be thankful every moment of our days. One facet of God’s will for our lives is thankfulness. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Do you give thanks in everything?
Psalm 136:1 says, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” This verse lays out the foundation for our thankfulness. The Lord is Good. It is His nature. Yes, even the trials that He allows in our lives are for our good.
Each time we thank Him for our trial He is honored. We are stating that He is Good no matter what our circumstances are. We are also stating that He is Trustworthy. Therefore we deliberately choose to not complain, but instead, to be thankful in our present circumstances. He truly is in control of all things. Nothing goes without notice in our lives. He orchestrates every situation in our lives for our good because He is Good. He cannot work outside of His Goodness.
Romans 5:3 Amplified says, “Moreover (let us also be full of joy now!) let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.” He was saying that right now, in the midst of our trials, is the time to triumph in joy.
We are still in the throes of a worldwide pandemic. Our lives have radically changed. Yet, God remains the same. He is still in control though we may feel that our life has been tipped upside down from this virus-invasion. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
God carefully and watchfully monitors our lives. Though others may mean something for evil, God will work it around until it is for our best interest. Romans 5:3-4 recorded that progress. It says, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Hope is the anchor of our soul and the fruit of our trials.
James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” We can be joyful in our trials because God is at work through them. In Hebrews 12:2 it says that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him.
Let’s look at the end of the life of one who has believed in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Jude verse 24 says, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” The joy set before Jesus was us. The joy set before us is Him receiving us with joy.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” My reader, God has no desire for you to perish. If you have never come to a saving knowledge of God, you can do so right now.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
The heart and the mouth have to agree to believe. It is impossible for God to lie; therefore you can take Him at His word. We are eternal beings. We will live on after we die on this earth. Where will you spend eternity? It is God’s desire that you will spend it with Him.
J Marilyn Adams has published numerous paperbacks and ebooks on Amazon. She makes practical application to God’s truths from her years of teaching and counseling. She also posts a daily devotional on Facebook, and her blog msmorningmanna.com.