Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thoughts for Thanksgiving



TOMORROW is Thanksgiving, a holiday of special import for Believers. We should be the most grateful people on the planet. An ungrateful Christian is a contradiction in terms. The grounds of our gratitude are twofold.

First, we will never get what we deserve. Jesus took it in our place. Motivated by extravagant love he solved our greatest problem, alienation from God.

Second, we are grateful because God is both sovereign and good. Whether pleasant or painful he is in absolute control of every event that overtakes us. In other words, God works all thing together for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). Therefore, we can count it all joy when we experience trials of various times (James 1:2). For these reasons Paul commands us, whether rain or shine, to overflow with thanksgiving (Col 2:7) giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17).


In addition, you should do this for selfish reasons. In a recent Christianity Today article Molie Hemingway lets us in on the benefits. “Studies show that grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. They are more forgiving and supportive than those who are ungrateful. They are less depressed, stressed, envious, and anxious. In fact, high levels of gratitude explain more about psychological well-being than 30 of the most commonly studied personality traits, according to two recent studies published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.”

Thomas Brooks, one of the 17th Century Puritans, said it this way. Is not Christ your treasure? Is not heaven your inheritance—and will you murmur? Has not God given you a changed heart, a renewed nature, and a sanctified soul—and will you murmur? Has He not given you Himself to satisfy you, His Son to save you, His Spirit to lead you, His grace to adorn you, His covenant to assure you, His mercy to pardon you, His righteousness to clothe you—and will you murmur? Has He not made you a friend, a son, a brother, a bride, an heir—and will you murmur? When you were dead, did not He quicken you? When you were lost, did not He seek you? When you were wounded, did not He heal you? When you were falling, did not He support you? When you were down, did not He raise you? When you were staggering, did not He establish you? When you were erring, did not He correct you? When you were tempted, did not He support you? and when you went in dangers, did not He deliver you?—and will you murmur? What! You who are so highly advanced and exalted above many thousands in the world? Murmuring suits none so badly as saints.”