My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.”---Joseph Addison
There is much to be thankful for, even in a world which is often pain-producing and ugly.
There is much for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for the wonder of music and for singing and instrumentation.
I am thankful for the reality of human language and for being able to communicate.
I am thankful for the written Word of God.
I am thankful for books and essays, poetry and literature, for maps and charts and pictures and photos and paintings and sculptures.
I am thankful for the ability to walk and jump and laugh and work and drive.
I am thankful that I can hear and see and swim and pray (with God’s help).
I am thankful for Christmas parades.
I am thankful for this computer.
I am thankful for some vintage TV shows and movie Westerns.
I am thankful for hamburgers and ham and pizza and tacos and chili and barbecue and chocolate and casseroles and chicken tenders and corn and bananas and eggs and hot peppers and cheese and ice cream and lots of good food. Actually, I am thankful for food. Period!
I am thankful for friends and that I have the capacity to be a friend.
I am thankful for my wife, my beloved, my heartsong, whose supportiveness and sensitivity and presence and challenging words have enabled me to withstand the tough times. I am thankful that her cancer operation is behind us and that she is currently described as 'cancer-free' by the medical authorities. Thus, I am thankful for effective medical technologies and staff operating in tandem with God's unquestionable and Sovereign grace.
I am thankful for my adult children. I am thankful for their abilities, their candor---and their unconditional love for me.
I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful for their determination to encourage me, and for their numerous exhortations which helped me deal with early obstacles.
“Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, In Whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mother’s arms Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.”
---Martin Rickert, translated by Catherine Winkworth
I am thankful for the moments of a lifetime as well as a lifetime of powerful moments connected by purpose and significance as per the All-Wise Plan of a loving God.
I am thankful for all who have integrity and compassion.
I am thankful for teamwork and unified commitment.
I am thankful for those who are more dedicated to fixing problems than in fixing blame. I am thankful for persons who try to accomplish something worthwhile instead of putting forth innumerable excuses as to why something worthwhile should never be tried.
I am thankful for the beauty of nature and the grandeur of God's Creation. I am thankful for gentle rains, springtime flowers and autumn leaves. I am thankful for lakes to swim in, hiking trails to climb and museums to explore.
I am thankful for living here in the Hernando area. I am thankful for the Hernando Kroger and Conger Park and Arkabutla Lake and Cedar Hill Farm. I am thankful for outdoor events throughout Desoto County, Mississippi. I am especially thankful that some of these events are low-cost or free.
I am thankful that everything I wish to do recreationally is within 100 miles of my home.
I am thankful for the people of the Hernando Presbyterian Church who gave me encouragement and prayer support even before my arrival here. I remain thankful for being embraced by them now in comprehensive, superabundant, astonishing congregational love.
I am thankful for being a member of the Mississippi Valley Presbytery of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. I am thankful for these colleagues in ministry. No, scratch that. Friends in ministry.
I am thankful for my guaranteed destination with all the people of Christ at a gigantic future worship service.
"We, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations."---Ps.79:13 (NKJV)
Thus: All of the people of Jesus should radiate ongoing thankfulness as a perspective and a lifestyle, a worldview and a passion.
Our society parcels out one meager day of the year and calls it 'Thanksgiving'; yet we Christians ought to thank God each day for everyday benefits springing from the fountain of Divine generosity. Be thankful NOW. “If a man isn’t thankful for what he already has, he’s not likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” ---Frank Clark
A lack of thankfulness toward the true God goes hand in glove with paganism, idolatry and a host of other sins (See Rom.1:20-23; 2 Tim.3:1-5)
Be thankful NOW for those things we may view casually and might occasionally take for granted.
"Father, we thank Thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair."---Rebecca Weston
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."---Col.3:17 (KJV). We can be thankful for the opportunities God gives to each Christian to do His desired Will.--- (Eph. 2:10)
We Christians can be most thankful for the Biblical truth that even though we are currently sinners (and will remain sinners on this side of heaven), we are forgiven by way of faith in Jesus Christ.
We should gush forth thankfulness to God every time we remember the gift of the Crucified and Risen Messiah for our salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ was "delivered up for our offenses and was raised again for our justification."--- (Rom.4:25)
This wondrous Gospel truth upholds us even when we find ourselves immersed in unpleasant situations. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”---1 Thess.5:19 (ESV). Bear in mind this directive is found two verses after “Rejoice always.” Our goal is to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil.4:4) as we give Him thanks In---not for---all our circumstances.
The Word of God NEVER commands people to be 'cool' in the eyes of popular culture. Scripture DOES exhort the children of God to be brave and strong (1 Cor.16:13), to be kind and forgiving (Eph.4:32), to be submissive to one another (1 Pet.5:5), and to be thankful (Col.3:15).
Thankfulness, then, is a state of being.
May we be always thankful for God's extreme grace through Jesus Christ and for the Scriptural assurance that we are saved because we belong to Him (1 John 5:11-13).
“Still through the years be Thou our Guide,
Keep us from enmity and pride;
Still help us choose the better part--
A humble and a thankful heart.”---Frederick Brewster
May we demonstrate our genuine thankfulness to God in word and conduct, in our attitudes and within every facet of our prayer life.
May we be thankful for the Biblical assurance that human history is going somewhere--- and that the Triune God is at the end of this history.
May we be thankful that corrupt leaders and oppressive governments throughout the world will one day be Divinely evaluated and dealt with, and that the people of Christ will be transformed into glorified human beings celebrating the King of Kings in a remade universe.
Think about it: A future universe without any ugliness or pain or strife---A realm with miraculous, sinless, joyous God-crafted fulfillment----A dimension of ‘super-existence’ without the appalling chains of human self-centeredness.
By virtue of the merit and Person of Christ, let us anticipate our joining the heavenly multitude, and saying together with them: "Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and might, be to our God forever and ever, Amen."-- (Rev.7:12)