Every fourth Thursday of November, millions of Americans gather together with family and friends to feast on turkey and maybe watch football games on TV. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been a federal holiday in America. Canadians have a similar holiday on the second Monday of October.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines thanksgiving as “the expression of gratitude, especially to God.” But many folks don’t honor the Lord at all on a holiday also referred to as “turkey day.” J. Jackson of the Christian parody band ApologetiX wrote in one of their newsletters, “Thanksgiving without God is like Christmas without Christ.” 2 Timothy 3:2 tells us that in the last days men will be “unthankful.”
One thing many people aren’t thankful for is how God made them. A few years ago I found out Chastity Bono (the daughter of Cher and the late Sonny Bono) underwent a sex change and now calls “himself” Chaz Bono. While Chaz claims to be a happier person, it grieves me how this precious little girl I used to watch on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour is now living as a man! I pray that Chastity/Chaz comes to know the Lord, experiences a miracle, and becomes the person God created her to be. The New Living Translation of Psalm 139:14 reads, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
How many times do we take simple things for granted like the ability to walk? In 2008, a former NFL player named Richard Collier was shot fourteen times outside an apartment building. Richard survived the incident but was left paralyzed from the waist down plus his left leg was amputated. Despite this tragedy, Richard overcame depression and in his own words, “…started reading my Bible a lot and started praying…really started seeking the Lord. I started talking to my team chaplain. Started enjoying my family, taking in all the little stuff.”
Despite writing most of his epistles while in prison, the Apostle Paul always had an attitude of gratitude. He stated in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in regard to need, I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” He also wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Notice this Scripture says to give thanks in everything, not for everything. Some Christians believe they are to thank God for calamities that happen in their lives such as accidents or disease. What they really need to do is thank God in advance for giving them the victory in those areas through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
What are you thankful for?
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” – Psalm 107:8