Skip to comments.Thanksgiving Anyway
Posted on 11/16/2001 1:25:03 PM PST by RnMomof7
Thomas C. Vanden Heuvel
In the USA, November is the month in which, by presidential proclamation, a special day is set aside for the people to give special thanks to God for success in harvest, and celebrate His goodness. Canada also celebrates a special day for this purpose, and maybe your country or community does as well. For this reason we are presenting a brief meditation for your edification.
There was trouble in Judah and Jerusalem. The people of Israel had split into two countries. Jeroboam was king of the northern ten tribes and Rehoboam was king of the southern two tribes including the capital city of Jerusalem.
We read in II Chronicles that after Rehoboams position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel (Judah) with him abandoned the law of the Lord. Because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Sheshak, King of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem in the fifth year of Rehoboam. It was in this historical context that Psalm 89 was written by Ethan the Ezrahite (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit). Who was he? He was a contemporary of Solomon, the father of Rehoboam. When the Lord tells us about the wisdom of Solomon, He says in I Kings 4:31: He (Solomon) was wiser than any other man including Ethan the Ezrahite. Ethan must have had a remarkable reputation of brilliance to have Solomons wisdom compared to his!
In these terrible times in Judah, Ethan writes: I will sing of the love of the Lord forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness through all generations. What is the response of Gods people in times of trouble? It is: I will sing of the mercies and love of the Lord forever.
Listen to Habakkuk: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior (Habakkuk 3:17,18).
Jesus and His disciples sang at the institution of the Lords Supper on the night He was betrayed. Listen also to Paul and Silas in the prison- dungeon in Philippi. We read: About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16: 25). Yes, great troubles may come, but we can still sing to the Lord! What is the subject of our song? It is the mercy and love of the Lord. Gods love and faithfulness never fail. Gods character is the basis of our song In the middle of the book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah in the depths of trouble in connection with the exile of Judah, we read the words of this song: Because of the Lords great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22,23).
The mercy and covenant love of God comes to His people in spite of their sin. We don t deserve it. We have broken the commandments of the Lord. But because Jesus Christ has come and taken our place in His perfect life and atoning death, we have a new relationship by faith through the Holy Spirit and we can sing of the mercies of the Lord forever.
One of the most poignant illustrations of Thanksgiving Anyway in my ministry was the death of a little three-year-old boy in one of our churches. He drowned when he fell into the sewer of his fathers hog confinement. His father had recently checked the sewer and had neglected to replace the cover. The father was full of guilt as he grieved, and could find no answer or relief. He said, I cannot sleep or eat. I killed my son. As he and I looked at Scripture, we read Proverbs 20:24:A man's steps are directed by the by the Lord. Do you believe this? I asked. Yes, he replied. What if the verse said A three-year-olds steps are directed by the Lord. Would you believe that? I probed. He paused. With tear-filled eyes he answered, Yes, I do believe that. We prayed and he returned home. The next morning he called, asking me to read Psalm 30: 4 and 5 to the congregation Sunday. This is what it says: Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning." He and his family had found comfort in the sovereignty of Gods direction, and in His faithfulness and love.
In this Thanksgiving season, let us be reminded that we are to sing of the mercies of the Lord forever - in all situations of life. This is the only way to have Thanksgiving Anyway.
May you all be blessed with this devotional. Happy Thanksgiving!
It is true as well that thanklessness is at the root of all sins we commit. May this be one of the most thankful of Thanksgiving and may all who call it "Turkey Day" get the bad end of the wishbone! :-)
They can never take Him away from us..........and that makes the Evil One furious.
And it's the more powerful because you posted it. Testament to your faith in God.
My dear friend and her family buried their delightful 2- 1/2 yr. old son in a drowning incident in their backyard 14 yrs. ago. Their faith in our Lord waned over the time after. Since then our precious Lord has saved me and my family I am sending it on to them with a prayer that their hearts are healed and their relationship with our Lord Jesus is rekindled and burns brighter than ever.
To God be the glory!
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.I take it that all Christians would do the same as I. God will bring comfort, through hope, to all who have suffered - and that by the way includes suffering for children born with birth defects
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him...........Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Note a couple of things about the nature of thanksgiving in this verse:
1) It is called the "sacrifice of praise". As King David said, "...neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing." (2 Sam 24:24) Any meaningful sacrifice always has a price attached.
2) It is to be offered "continually", even when we don't feel like it! (Part of that "I won't sacrifice that which doesn't cost me" concept again.)
3) It is accomplished "by Him". It is only in, through, and by the power of Jesus Christ are we able to comply with the requirements of this verse.
4) Just as it is only possible to offer this sacrifice "by Him", we also see that the thanksgiving is to be given "to His name". This is not a general giving of thanks to no particular target, but a thanksgiving that knows why it is thankful.
While many deride the doctrines of sovereignty, claiming that they make God cruel and heartless, they provide, in the most difficult times of doubt and pain, the greatest and surest comfort. To know that underneath us are the everlasting arms of a heavenly father is the foundation of real thanksgiving.
The Heidelberg Catechism 28 says,
Q: What does it profit to know that God has created, and by His providence still upholds all things?
A: That we may be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity and with a view to the future may have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from His love, since all creatures are so in His hand that without His will they cannot so much as move. God Bless.
Your post touched my heart.Thank you and I will pray for your friend.
I was really enjoying this meditation ,and thinking about sharing it for a Thanksgiving "prayer" here on FR.. then when I got to the end and the example he gave it .I was reminded of the words from the Book of Esther "for just such a time"...I forwarded it to my daughter in law with a note telling her that I loved her..
So we will pray for God to touch two hearts with His healing balm.
That gets a very big smile and Amen.
I was recently in a discussion on another forum on "mega churches" .One in particular has NO praise time on Sundays..as they want to appeal to the unsaved.. The pastor defending the practice said "the unsaved don't like the worship" he went on to say the "can not worship anyway"
I asked him what right they had to rob God of His worship ,just because the heathans don't like it??
But it did start me thinking of the nature of Praise and thanksgiving and worship Jerry. I had noticed that the unsaved didn't like the worship...but I had never considered that they not only refuse to give God the worship and thanksgiving He deserves and demands..but they are not able to worship. He gives us the ability to thank Him.He gives us the ability to praise Him..we are only returning to Him what is already His..all Praise,all glory and all thanksgiving !
You post was a confirmation of a new realization to me.....
Thank God for His everlasting, living Word.
As someone who has experienced much in the course of my life, including a Mom who was too sick to raise me (I didn't meet her until I was a teen), the deaths of of 3 of my children (one during pregnancy, a son at one day old, and a daughter at 7 months), and a wife of twenty years who suddenly walked out on me, I can tell you that without the Lord, and His Book, I would have laid down and died long ago...
As it is, though, I have Hope.
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