Sermons

BEING THANKFUL, NO MATTER WHAT

(Philippians 4:12-13)

Thanksgiving 2013

Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Amen.

What is Thanksgiving Day?

• Is it a day for family and friends?

• Is it a day for food?

• Is Thanksgiving Day a day for watching football?

What is Thanksgiving Day?

Thanksgiving as an attitude – not a day. It's a day for:

1. Reflecting on God's Grace.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it's a day for reflect on God's grace and his forgiveness from every failure, fault and from every sin. Don't forget the words of Ephesians 2:8 on Thanksgiving Day,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it's a day to reflect on God's grace.

2. Reflecting On God's Goodness.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it's a day for reflecting on God's goodness, as you've faced the storms, sorrows, and adverse situations this past year. in Lamentations 3:22-23 we read,

It is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it is a day to reflect on God's goodness.

Think about all the things you have and all of the other people who have nothing. There, now: give thanks. Don’t concentrate on what is missing; be grateful for what you have.

3. Reflect on God's Guidance.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it is a day for reflecting on God's guidance, when you were looking for the right direction, when you were looking for the right door to open, or you were in a situation you didn't knew what to do. Let's not forget the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 this Thanksgiving Day,

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What is Thanksgiving Day, it is a day to reflect on God's guidance.

How many will stand with me today to say, I'm going to remember what Thanksgiving Day is, it's a day to reflect on God's grace, it's a day to reflect on God's goodness, and it's a day to reflect on God's guidance.

When we stop and think about everything that we are blessed with we can only be thankful. I love what the apostle Paul had to say about that. We hear in Philippians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

Thanksgiving is a time of the year that should bring us to the place where realize that everything that we have comes from one source – God! When we confess Him with our mouths and believe Him with our hearts we come to the proper attitude that we need to have in order to worship.

The only thing we know for sure is that things change. A thousand things can come along to change our well-laid plans. Ecclesiastes 3:1 states:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

Back during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast, all graduates of the Boston School of Theology, gathered to discuss how they should conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services. Things were about as bad as they could get, with no sign of relief. The bread lines were depressingly long, the stock market had plummeted, and the term Great Depression seemed an apt description for the mood of the country. The ministers thought they should only lightly touch upon the subject of Thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all about them. After all, what was there to be thankful for? But it was Dr. William L. Stiger, pastor of a large congregation in the city that rallied the group. This was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving, just the opposite. This was the time for the nation to get matters in perspective and thank God for blessings always present, but perhaps suppressed due to intense hardship.

I suggest to you the ministers struck upon something. The most intense moments of thankfulness are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound. Think of the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. Half their number dead, men without a country, but still there was thanksgiving to God. Their gratitude was not for something but in something. It was that same sense of gratitude that lead Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the midst of national civil war, when the butcher’s list of casualties seemed to have no end and the very nation struggled for survival.

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