Giving Thanks

“Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes we fail.  Sometimes we really (seemingly) don’t know what to be thankful for.

But it’s our fault – and only our fault – when we reason, feel, and act this way.  The Word tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

In her classic autobiography, “The Hiding Place,” Corrie ten Boom tells of her experience at a Nazi Death Camp.  She and her sister, along with many others, were forced to suffer incredibly.  Often, this included the humiliation of taking off all clothing.  Corrie stood in line feeling totally forsaken, abused, cheap, dirty, and desperate.

She recalls that almost immediately, she remembered Jesus on the Cross and what He had suffered and endured.  His suffering, humiliation, persecution, and rejection – even in spite of her own real experience – was far worse.

During the degrading and exceedingly dehumanizing moments in the Death Camp, Corrie was struck with a powerful sense of awe and worship to God.  Amazing, is it not?  Incredible to say the least!  I only submit that we have much to learn from Corrie ten Boom and so many others, in history and in the present, who have remained steadfast in relationship to God, even amidst horrific experiences.

Thanksgiving requires no repayment.  Yet, it necessitates a recognition of what God, in Christ Jesus, has already done and accomplished for us.  You see, thanfulness is the opposite of selfishness.  Giving our gratitude to God reveals something about Who we see (and know to be) the One Who is in control and able to do all things.  He has done so very much!

Thursday, November 22, 2012, is the day we recognize Thanksgiving.  It is a “holiday” on the general calendar, but how about making it a “holy” day in your heart?  What are you thankful for?  Life?  Breath?  Family?  Friends?  Your church community?  Faith?  Food?  Shelter?  Health?  Work?  Opportunity?  Freedom?  All the above and then some?

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!