Expressing Gratitude And Faith
November 25, 2020 | John and Anna Bazemore
Happy Thanksgiving! (Buon Ringraziamento)
As we move towards Thanksgiving this year there is a disquiet in some of our hearts. What is traditionally a time for gathering with family and friends for feasting, relaxing and reflection is, for many, overshadowed by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a year wrought with a national health crisis, economic hardship, violence in the streets, and political strife. For some, restricted movement mandates will mean empty chairs at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Some may even wonder what there possibly can be to be thankful for this year. Yet, it is in times of uncertainty that thankfulness takes on a whole new meaning. Let’s face it, it’s easy to be thankful when things are going good and life is filled with promise and fun. It’s so much harder when life is filled with fear, stress, pain and uncertainty.
I often marvel that Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November 1863 while the country was amid civil war. Why a national day of thanksgiving? After all, the country was ravaged by violence, fear, and disunity. [Sounds a lot like our country today!] It seems like it would have been more prudent for Lincoln to call Americans to a National Day of Prayer. However, his call to a day of thanksgiving speaks to the very heart of our Christian faith because it points us to the Giver and Sustainer of all things—the Lord God Almighty.
When we pray with thankfulness our attention is on the character and works of God. We look away from the sadness and fear we are experiencing and look at the face of God who is our help, our strength, our refuge, our peace, our comforter, and our hope. We look to the only One who is sovereign, almighty, and able to work all things together for good. The One who is using our circumstances to build perseverance, godly character and hope in us.
Our prayers of thankfulness express our commitment to God and His Word; our dependence upon Him for everything; our trust in His faithfulness to protect and provide for us; and the peace we have in Him. All of which are aspects of our Christian faith. Words of thankfulness remind us of God’s love and care for us. And the more we thank Him, the more we rely upon Him. And the more we rely upon Him, the more we submit to Him. And the more we submit to Him the more we become Christlike.
As you give thanks to the Lord on this Thanksgiving Day, pause for a few moments to consider that your words are more than an expression of gratitude for all that the Lord has done. Your words are also an expression of your faith. May we always be a people of thankfulness who keep their eyes fixed on the Lord, the giver of all good things.
Serving Together in Christ,
John & Anna
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18