We have a few days before the day itself, “Thanksgiving Day.” And in keeping with our thanksgiving theme on PS23, I would like to provide 8 reasons I have to give thanks.
- Sovereignty––This is one of the most uplifting truths, God’s sovereign rule. I am thankful that God is ruler and Maker of all. He is the creator and sustainer of all things. God is the one in whom everything that takes place is accomplished by the word of His power. He governs what happens in life. No one can rest as securely as believers, in knowing their God is the only eternal, immortal, invisible, and only wise God (1 Tim. 1:17). With thanksgiving, I am honored to know that He has granted eyes to behold this truth and to embrace Him as the only true and living God. While others pray to their god, their gods are nothing but idols. The God of the Bible, He alone is the ONLY true and living God.
- Savior––I am eternally grateful for a Savior whose grace abounds to the chief of sinners. What a rescue mission Christ went on; to save the condemned; to redeem the rebellious sinner. God in His love reached down to fallen man, to give hope of eternal life and fellowship with Him. Who can find anything greater to rejoice about? Believers are the only ones who can truly give thanks and that is because of Christ. Sinners who are without God are incapable of offering acceptable thanksgiving. True thanksgiving can only come from a heart that has been made new.
- Scripture––The precious, enduring, and unfailing word of God: how glorious it is to be able to read it, absorb its truths, and apply it to life! The Psalmist says, “Oh how I love your law. It is my meditation day and night” (Psalm 119:97). Scripture is God’s direct revelation to us (2 Tim. 3:16). Why would I trust anything else? Why would you trust the words of men above the word of God? And in a time when false teachers are constantly placing themselves on par with God’s word, their words are not settled in heaven; God’s word is (Psalm 119:89). God did not swear by man’s word but by His own. Man’s word is not truth, but God’s word is (John 17:17). God’s word is living, not man’s (Heb. 4:12). So with thanksgiving, I rejoice in the living word of God. I am thankful that He did not leave me blinded to the influence of deceptive teachers, but by his grace I know that His word alone is the only truth that endures.
- Salvation––Isaac Watts penned these words, “When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of glory died. My richest gains I count but loss and poor contempt on all my pride.” Had it not been for the sacrifice of Christ for my sins, I would be destined for hell and justly deserving of it. Salvation, God’s gift to mankind, causes thanksgiving to abound. While sadly some live and die without this precious gift, what a treasure to know that salvation has come to those who repent and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. I join in agreement with another wonderful song, written by Sovereign Grace: “Grace and peace, oh how can this be/For lawbreakers and thieves/For the worthless, the least. You have said, that our judgment is death, For all eternity/Without hope, without rest. Oh, what an amazing mystery, what an amazing mystery, that Your grace has come to me.”
- Sanctification––Another one of God’s precious gifts of grace. The same grace in salvation is the same grace in our sanctification (Titus 2:11-14). The blessedness of personal holiness is a treasure. Although the battle against sin is a reality, the joy of knowing we can pursue Christ-likeness because that is what God is presently at work to accomplish, not only comforts me, but it is a cause for profound gratitude. I am at work presently to put off sin because God is working in me by the Holy Spirit for that same purpose. I am encouraged to know I am not doing this alone and the power to live a holy life is by God’s power and not my own. Only by His grace am I able to choose what is right and reject what is wrong.
- Stability––Without the Lord, I would have made a ruin of my family. If left to myself, I would have rejected all notions of faithfulness and commitment to my family. Without the Holy Spirit’s work, it would be impossible to maintain a diligent life. Without the Lord, the chances of me being a faithful husband to my wife would be slim to none. Thanksgiving is to my God for the work He began and is doing from the inside out (Phil. 1:6). Truly His grace is amazing and life changing. Thankful He did not leave me to my own devices and indulgences. When He saved me, He began to teach me how to love my wife and children; and the lessons continue. What joy I have in knowing that by His power and truth, I am able to provide stability in my home, when many men are turning away from their primary duty in shepherding their home and instead are pursuing futile interests. I have much to thank the Lord for; He enables me to focus on eternal values and reject the temporal pleasures of sin.
- Sobriety ––Although I do not have a drinking problem, the cares of this life can be intoxicating. Therefore, I am thankful for the riches of sanctification in that God’s word convicts me and reminds me that my journey on this earth will one day come to an end if Christ does not return. So godly sobriety is a blessing. In all of life’s enjoyments, the Lord continues to expose the potential excess of worldly enticements to show me that all of my pleasures and enjoyments are to be found only in Him. So when the seasons come around, I do not need the material world to satisfy me. My satisfaction is in knowing that I am a child of God. With thankfulness, I am learning what it means to think godly and soberly in this world (Romans 12:3).
- Sustenance––What is thanksgiving without food? Many of us will have the privilege of enjoying an abundance of food during Thanksgiving. There will be an adequate supply for everyone, and most likely leftovers for the following day. Some of us may eat more than our fair share (but that topic is for another time). But God has been truly good to us in that way. He is faithfully providing, which includes the blessing of enjoying meals. An added benefit is enjoying those meals with others. Again to God be the glory for His provision. He sustains us spiritually while providing for our physical needs. It is not an understatement to say there are others who do not have this blessing. May we truly give thanks everyday when we consider this; and think about ways we can help those who are not in the same situation we are in.
“In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Feel free to add your reasons for giving thanks in the “comments” section. Let us all share together in giving thanks to God for who He is and all that He has done.
2 “Grace and Peace” Joel Sczebel, Sovereign Grace Music