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Summary: Reasons Christians have to be thankful.

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THANKSGIVING 2004

PAUSING TO GIVE THANKS

When the New England colonies started, the settlers endured many hardships and difficulties. They were pious and religious people, so they prayed and fasted a lot to get through the difficult times. They thought so much about their problems and difficulties that they often became gloomy and discontent and even sometimes thought of returning to England with the persecutions they once wanted so desperately to flee.

Finally, when it was suggested again, that they have another day of praying and fasting, a plain, common-sense old colonist rose in the meeting and said that he thought they had brooded over their difficulties long enough and it seemed high time that they should consider some of their mercies. He said, the colony was growing, the fields increasing in harvests, the rivers full of fish, the woods full of game, the air sweet; and above all, they had what they came for, civil and religious liberty. He recommended that instead of holding another fast, that they instead hold a day of thanksgiving, a time of feasting.

My friends, we have seen some trying times these past few months. We have endured several hurricanes. Some are still enduring the affects of those storms. Gas prices are hitting us in our back pockets. We have just endured an ugly election. We have friends and family members fighting a war overseas. Some are enduring the pains of a fallen world, with family problems, sickness, and even death touching our homes.

It is so easy sometimes to allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the struggles and frustrations of life. There are other times when we take our service and ourselves to the Lord so seriously that we lose the joy of our faith. We become grim. It is at those times we need the 100th Psalm as an antidote. It is at those times we need to remember the many blessing we have to be thankful for.

- Read Psalm 100:1-5

My friends, in these 5 short verses, and the 85 words that make up these verses we find 7 reasons you and I, in the midst of the storm, can be thankful.

I. THE LORD IS GOD – v3

I thank the Lord because He is God. There are many people in the world today who do not know the true God, who do not know the true Lord. Think of the many people in the world today who live in fear of demons and evil spirits. How many people today burn sacrifices and wear charms, and do all sorts of things, trying to make sure that good luck will come their way and so the evil spirits will be driven off.

Can you imagine how terrible it would be if the Devil were in charge of the world? Can you imagine how terrible it would be if the True God, the God we serve was like Allah, the god the Muslims claim? Imagine how terrible it would be if we served Allah, a god who cannot be approached, who doesn’t really care about people; imagine a world run by a god who is pleased when his people blow up innocent women and children.

Praise the Lord; we don’t serve such a God. Our loving, approachable, knowable, caring, prayer hearing, Son sending, Jehovah, He is God! The Lord, He is God! We pause and give thanks because the Lord is God.

Second, we pause and give thanks because God made us.

II. GOD MADE US – v3

The 2nd reason we pause to give thanks is because God made us. There are some who believe that we descended from apes. That somewhere, millions and millions of years ago, a few chemicals got together there in a pool, and that was the beginning of life. These same individuals tell us that all of life today has emerged, has evolved from that first pool, and that you and I are here by chance.

My friend, the Bible says you and I are not here by chance. We did not evolve nor arrive by accident. God created us. If you go back and look at the creation account in Genesis, the Bible says God spoke and there was light. God spoke, and the animals came into being. God spoke and the world was covered with plants. But when God made man, He said to Himself, “This is my special creation. I will do something special when I make man, and so He reached down and formed man from the dust of the earth. With His own hands He made man and then breathed into him the breath of life.

And my friend, God made you as well. He didn’t stop when He created Adam and Eve and leave the rest up to genetics. God made you and formed you just the way He wanted you as well. Jeremiah 1:5 says, I chose you before I formed you in the womb. I am thankful that God made me and you should be thankful He made you. He made you just the way He wanted you, and that sure takes the load off when we realize that He made us the way He wanted us. God gave us the figures we have. He gave us the personalities we have. He gave us the hair we do or do not have. I don’t have to worry about my bowed legs, because God gave them to me.

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