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In less than two weeks we will once again celebrate the National Day of Thanksgiving. We rejoice in the fact that our nation annually sets aside and observes this day of thanksgiving. The tragedy is that many see it as nothing more than a holiday and a time of feasting and amusement. However this day is meant to be a season of real thanksgiving to God. It is a time of recounting the many blessings and mercies extended to us as a nation and personally over the past year.
This past year has brought severe trials and testings for our nation. Such things as war, terrorism, political upheaval, the threat of disease, racial unrest, immorality running rampant, just to name a few have challenged our faith. Let us not fail to “give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20) Let us remember that behind a frowning providence there hides a smiling face. There is nothing more wholesome in the development of Christian character than sanctified affliction. The pure gold comes out of a hot furnace and the sweetest and most lovely Christians come up out of great tribulations. The year has not been all triumphant because doubtless God is sifting the chaff from the wheat, but to the faithful, what blessing He will pour upon them.
The prophet Habakkuk in great perplexity inquired concerning his people, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save.” He became even more perplexed when the Lord told him that He would punish Israel with a nation that was more wicked than they. The Lord further reminded His prophet that the “just shall live by faith,” and it was then that Habakkuk realized that the battle was not his it was the Lord’s and he cast his burden on the Lord and sang:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines;
The labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat;
The flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Our nation has been blessed as no other. However, today men’s hearts are failing them as they witness what seems to be the crumbling of the state of our union. We have excluded God and His Word from our schools, government and society in general. The great stone in our foundation is that of religious freedom, but we are allowing this to be taken away from us and our nation is hanging in the balance. In an address attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville (though the authenticity of authorship is being challenged today) we read these lines:
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there….in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there….in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there…in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
While many question the origin of that quote let it be stated that nothing could be closer to the truth. Richard S. Taylor said, “We live in a morally sick society and there is no such thing as mass sanctification that would quickly heal our sick world. Therefore it is incumbent upon every believer to be Sanctified Wholly and become spiritually healthy so that we, in turn, could help modify and heal the corruption of our sick society by the infusion of our own spiritual health.”
Let us in every thing give thanks, not only this Thanksgiving Day but every day of the year. Remember ingratitude is the grossest sin. Gratitude is the purest of righteousness. Thank Him for His extended mercy and grace and for the assurance that after we have run our race here we shall have an abundant entrance into that eternal city whose builder and maker is God.
“They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abideth forever. As mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever.”
HAVE A HAPPY DAY OF THANKSGIVING!