“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:1).
Thanksgiving…what a wonderful season of the year! I am reminded of Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” The apostle Paul expressed a similar thought in I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Our thanksgiving should not be confined to the fourth Thursday of November! Rather, we should give praise and thanks to God every day we live and in every circumstance of life. Have you ever read Matthew Henry’s prayer of thanks the night he was robbed? The great Bible preacher and expositor wrote these words in his journal: “I thank Thee, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
My heart overflows with gratitude to the Lord for many things. As I share from my heart, I’m sure most of you will relate!
1. I am thankful for the grace of God in saving me. As the song writer expressed it, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…” This grace is permanent, priceless, and personal – it has my name on it! Jesus said, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
2. I am thankful for the family God has given me. God has blessed me with a godly, supportive wife who has been by my side for almost 46 years. Proverbs 19:14b says, “A prudent wife is from the LORD.” God has blessed us with four children and eight grandchildren, who bring such joy and warmth to our lives. “Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). We are deeply blessed!
3. I am thankful for the ministry God has entrusted to me. I Timothy 1:12 says, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” I thank God for the privilege and responsibility of being the pastor of such a wonderful church as Grace Bible Baptist Church. I do not own you; God owns you. But I do claim you! God has given me the responsibility of shepherding this flock under the oversight of the Chief Shepherd! What a wonderful privilege it is to labor beside people who love the Lord and share a burden to reach the world for Jesus Christ. As Paul expressed it, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3).
Take a little time right now, or around your Thanksgiving table, to thank God for the many blessings in your life…your family, your friends, your possessions, your health (even if you’re sick), your country (even with its problems and flaws), and most of all, for your salvation and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! Without Jesus, where would we be?
“O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good…” (Psalm 107:1a).