Happy Thanksgiving

24 Nov

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
-Thomas Ken

Remember to thank God, for everything we have, from family and friends to food and gifts, are all of His grace to us. Yet, on a day like today, I cannot help but be grieved by the many people who go without food, who are without family and have nothing to call their own.  The homeless, the abused, the starving, the widow, the orphan.

However, there is hope.  For God has not left us to die in our sin, but has offered us life in Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are brought into the family of God and given the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. This is the greatest expression of His mercy and grace towards us.  And not only this, but we are given a renewed outlook on the world.  We see it as a place in which we can exhibit the grace and love that God has shown us to those who need it most, knowing that there will come a day when the Son will return and all things will be made new and no one will have want or need.

So on this day, remember the words of Thomas Ken. Remember that you do not deserve what you have, but are the recipient of it solely by the grace of God.  Praise Him for His provision and blessing!  Yet, also remember the words of Job and Habakkuk, who, though in very different circumstances than what most of us face, praised God.  They suffered loss and pain, exile and loneliness, yet praised God:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)”

“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor the fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
and the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord:
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)”

In all circumstances, praise the Lord. Thank God for Jesus Christ, the greatest expression of His grace and the source of our hope and salvation!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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