LET US GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD!
As America gets ready for Thanksgiving, we are in a much different place than we have ever been before. There are some who can still remember what it was like to experience Thanksgiving during World War II, but most of us have not faced truly difficult times as we have celebrated Thanksgiving. Some families have had, for their own personal reasons, extremely difficult Thanksgiving situations but nothing quite like what we are experiencing on a national scale as this year. There are strong recommendations to limit the size and the type of Thanksgiving get-togethers we have this year. So, what are we as Christians to think about a time of reflection and Thanksgiving this year? Despite all the turmoil this nation is facing this Thanksgiving, what does God expect of us, his people?
In the first verse of Psalm 107, we read the fundamental facts our God wants us to always hang on to. We should always give thanks to the Lord. Why? Because he is good, and his love endures forever. No matter what is going on in our lives or in our world, this basic truth never changes. The psalmist goes on to remind us that our God is seeking us out no matter where we are. No matter what we are facing, no matter how far from God we have travelled. This Thanksgiving is truly going to be different than any before, but we have so much to thank God for. There may be some who have had difficult Thanksgivings in the past. Some may have lost loved ones at this time of year on previous occasions that made it difficult to feel thankful. This year some may be dealing with more than the limitations that may occur because of the Coronavirus.
While many of us look forward to the opportunity to get together with family and friend at Thanksgiving, it is not always a happy-go-lucky time of year for everyone, which bring us back to how we should view Thanksgiving this year and for that matter every year. This is, in a way, just another day on the calendar. This nation began the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving hundreds of years ago. At the center of this nation’s Thanksgiving celebrations has been to give thanks, first and foremost to God. In spite of some incredibly challenging times, the pilgrims chose to acknowledge God for his goodness and mercy. Should we as Christians in America in 2020 do any less? Despite the difficulties of this year for this nation and maybe for some of you for your own personal reasons, we still have much to be thankful for. God’s love and mercy for us is just as strong today as it ever has been. Even if we have not always been as faithful this year as we should be, God is faithful. Even if we have had major disappointments or even some personal tragedies, God is with us encouraging us, providing us with his strength to carry on. We do not know whether blessing on top of blessing lies just ahead for us or whether more difficult times are just around the corner but this we can be assured of—God will be with us. Nothing is going to happen to us, God’s people, that catches God by surprise. If you and I remain firm in our faith, we will be victorious no matter what comes our way. In Romans 8:30, we are reminded, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
So, I encourage you this Thanksgiving that no matter what your Thanksgiving looks like this year to take some time to reflect on God’s love for you. While there will be challenges ahead, be assured God is with you. With God’s help, we will prevail. As it is pointed out in verses 8 and 9 read earlier this morning, we are reminded, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love, and his wonderful deeds for men. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” So, let us give thanks to the Lord! Have a great Thanksgiving. Remember God is ready and able to provide us, his people, with good things.