Summary: Thanksgiving Day is a day to give thanks, but so are the other 364 days.
Text: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Isn’t it wonderful to know that our calendar indicates one day out of three hundred sixty-five days as a day of thanksgiving? What do we do on the other three hundred sixty-four days?
I am not against the official Day of Thanksgiving as set aside for celebration by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. I just wonder if some people consider this the only day of thanksgiving and if the only meaning of thanksgiving is turkey with all the fixings.
We need to look back to the year 1620, when 102 people boarded a small boat named the Mayflower and set sail for the new land of freedom and opportunity. These people were called Pilgrims. They sailed the Atlantic Ocean for approximately two months. The ocean was rough and the weather stormy which meant they had to remain below deck in the hold of the boat.
There was nothing they could do to entertain themselves because space was very limited, but they knew God was with them and He would see their mission accomplished. The Pilgrims were religious people who knew God’s Word. They were able to pass the time of day and night by singing the hymns found in the book of Psalms.
After a rough voyage about 2 months, they landed upon the shores of America. Instead of landing on the shore of Virginia, they landed at Plymouth Rock on the 11th day of December, 1620.
Their first winter was extremely cold and they did their best to survive, however, almost half of them died due to the weather and due to sickness. They thanked God for protecting them and they knew in their heart He would continue to bless them because they placed their faith and trust in Him and they looked to Him in their time of need.
The native Indians were very kind and helpful to the Pilgrims. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant and cultivate corn. When the crops had been planted in the spring of the next year, a severe drought came upon the land. The Pilgrims, knowing their source, called upon God. They prayed and fasted believing God for what was about to happen. Sure enough, God came through with the needed rain and the harvest was more than what they expected.
That is the way it is with God. He always knows our needs and He is always just a prayer away. He waits for us to do our part, which is praying and fasting, and then He does His. We start the process of the possible, that is our part, and God finishes the process by bringing forth His part which is the impossible. Jesus said, “….with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
After the harvest took place, the Pilgrims held a celebration in which they thanked God for His favor upon them. They invited the Indians who helped them get started (God’s intervention) through providing seeds for the various plants and showing them the art of survival.
God works in mysterious ways. Nothing good just happens. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God is the source of everything good and what He promises, He provides.
Since He provides everything for us, we need to thank Him and praise Him each day of life. When life is going the way we think it should, we tend to forget that it is progressing well because God is in control. At times, we take credit that is due God.
During the times of hardship, trials, and tribulations, we think God has forgotten about us, but this is the time He is waiting for us to reach forth and seek His help and guidance. This is the time we need to thank Him for being with us although we may not feel like it. Satan likes it when we don’t feel like talking to the Father because then he can step in and take control of our minds.
This is the time Satan thinks he can claim a victory. This is the time we need to bring forth the Word of God which is “….powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joint and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
God’s Word is alive and it is life-changing. We need to thank Him for His instructions concerning how to live the good life. Everyone in this country has access to His Word, but not all people take advantage or are interested.