Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THANKSGIVING: God is Good! Most of the Time?

If we even dare to call ourselves believers in God and His Holy Word then we don't really have "much" we should be thankful for! Rather, if we understand the Gospel rightly, we see we MUST respond to God with thanksgiving for EVERYTHING, good or bad, rich or poor, sick or healthy! Will we continue to break the commandment of God's Word or will we, in EVERYTHING, give thanks? (I Thess 5:18) Please read the exerpt below from Carl Haak's 2002 article entitled "The Great Thanksgiving".

"You would think that today when we, as children of God, have so much it would be easy to be thankful; and in days of depression and want it would be very hard to show gratitude to God. But that is not the way it works. 

For the people of God, it is easier to give thanks to the Lord for His mercy in days of hardship and tribulations than in the days of plenty and prosperity, because in the days of prosperity we forget the Lord and our hearts find it hard to be thankful. 

Instead, our hearts become covetous and greedy. We simply have an abundance. We are clothed and warm. And we await a large meal on Thanksgiving Day. And we have so much more than what we need. Our way of life is very comfortable.

Thanksgiving, you see, is not centered in the thing. True thanksgiving is centered in God for giving those things - good and bad - out of a purpose for the salvation of our soul in Jesus Christ. God uses all things, all the time, for our eternal spiritual good in Jesus Christ. There you have the secret of true thanksgiving.

It is this true thanksgiving which is so beautifully expressed in Psalm 118:1, "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever." That is true thanksgiving. It is to thank God for His goodness and for His unfailing mercy toward us.

It is all by grace, you see. We are sinners. What do we deserve of God except eternal damnation. But He has given His Son, freely, of grace, and chosen us to be in Christ Jesus, promised us to work all things for our eternal well-being. Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

But if you are not convinced, then listen to this: "for His mercy endureth for ever." Ah, there we see a reason to give thanks to God. This is the reason for true thanksgiving: His mercy endureth for ever. Note that carefully!

Now, do not say that superficially. Say that from your heart. Yes, sometimes through tears and sometimes through struggles. But the Lord is good. You see, thanksgiving is a wonderwork of grace in our hearts. 

Thanksgiving is when a believing husband looks upon the coffin of his dear wife, shocked with the reality of death, and yet says, "The Lord is good."

Thanksgiving is when a mother gives birth to a stillborn child in a hospital filled with mothers who have many healthy babies and says, "The Lord is good."

Thanksgiving is when a father receives notice that his job is terminated, his income is lost. Yet, the Lord is good.

Thanksgiving is when the aged grow senile and they do not remember their children or their wife's name and they wither away. Yet, in their soul, they say, "The Lord is good."

Beloved, the Lord is good. He is always good to His people through His grace in Jesus Christ. Through all things He accomplishes a glorious salvation in Christ. Are you filled with thanksgiving today? Give Him thanks. If you are healthy and your family is about you and all is well, the Lord is good. Are you alone? Are you sick? Are you troubled? Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Say it from your heart: "Thou art good to me, Lord."~

Source: http://www.reformedwitnesshour.org/2002/2002nov24.html

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