Monday, November 23, 2015

Pastor's Ponderings, November 23, 2015

Let Us Give Thanks to God

As we prepare to enjoy the Thanksgiving food with our families, we may forget the circumstances in which this official holiday began.  Variations of our present day thanksgiving were celebrated across Canada and the United States between October and November for over 200 years. Thanksgiving became an official U.S. holiday in 1863 during a time of great pain and suffering. In the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed Thanksgiving should be celebrated as a national holiday.  Roughly 2% of the population of the United States, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives in the line of duty during this terrible conflict.  Yet in the midst of this trying time, Abraham Lincoln thought it important that the entire nation give thanks to God.

It is very easy to give thanks for all of our blessings when things are going well.  But when people are dying all over the world, when violence is increasing, and when refugees are fleeing from the atrocities of war, one may reasonably ask, “Why should I give thanks?”  We have the privilege of taking our needs and requests to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Philippians 4:6).  The very fact that one has a conscious mind to be able to ask that question is enough proof that we should thank God for allowing us to live.  In Him we live and move and are conscious beings (Acts 17:26-28).

This Thanksgiving holiday let us be thankful to God and remember that everything that we have comes from Him (Ephesians 5:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).  In spite of all that is going on whether good, bad, or indifferent, He keeps blessing us. Let us continue to thank Him on this holiday and daily for all of His benefits (Psalm 103:2).

Psalm 103:2
New International Version (NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

Acts 17:26-28
New International Version (NIV)
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being…

Ephesians 5:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6
New International Version (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

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