For most people, and many families, the last Thursday in November is a time when they really enjoy being together. After traveling “far and wide” for the festivities of this one day, there is great enjoyment in getting to see family and friends.
It is often said this is the time of year for the giving of thanks for our material possessions. This tradition was established several years ago because of the end of the harvest season and a time to be thankful for the success of the year.
The giving of thanks to God for His actions is often expressed in the Psalms. King David in one such psalm wrote, “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders. I will be glad and exult in Thee; I will sing praise to Thy name, O Most High” (Psalms 9:1-2)
While we like to thank God for all the possessions we have, how often do we thank God for all the things He has done? How often do we think about all the actions of God that have nothing to do with “me,” but rather benefit everyone?
While most Christians would think about God sending His Son to earth for the salvation of the souls of mankind, there are others things God has done for mankind that are equally as important. Please do not misunderstand, I am not trying to minimize the suffering of Jesus nor its importance, but rather I am trying to direct our thinking in a different direction.
There are predictable things occurring every day, which we probably take for granted. What about gravity, the rising and setting of the sun, the constant flow of weather currents and patterns, or the ebb and flow of the tide on large bodies of water? What about the guaranteed position of the stars in the night sky which in our generation provides amazement but in previous generations, and even some parts of the world today, provides directions, both on land and sea?
Are we thankful to God for revealing Himself and for putting this revelation in written form? What about His actions in making sure this revelation has been preserved through the generations thereby providing an opportunity for us to read about Him and some of His other wonderful actions? What about the consistency in His actions that builds our confidence in Him?
There are many other things for which we could express our thanks to God, but may these help us to be thankful not only at this time of the year, but every day of the year, as we are living God’s way.
Carlton G. McPeak is an evangelist working in the Florida Gateway region. All Scriptural quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, unless otherwise stated. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.