Our Nation has set aside the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday of Thanksgiving. Although there are now many things that raise the concern of Christians for the welfare of our country, we still have much to be thankful for as Americans. We can be thankful that we have the individual freedoms that have been granted to us by the constitution our founders crafted. We can be thankful that for the most part, the sounds and sights of war have played out on distant shores rather than our own. We can be thankful that we have the right to choose how we will make our living, where we will live, and the right to our day in court if falsely accused of a wrong doing.
However, we have things more important to be thankful for if we are faithful Christians our fellow Americans do not have. We can be thankful that we follow the pattern for salvation and worship that our Creator has revealed to us (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38 John 4:23-24; Eph. 5:19). Those have been made available to us by our Savior who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 1:4; 2:20; Tit. 2:14). We can be thankful that God has given us all things that pertain to live and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). We can be thankful that we are not persecuted for reaching out to our fellow countrymen with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 The. 3:1).
If we are faithful Christians, our thanksgiving reaches beyond this world and beyond this life. I cannot think of a more beautiful passage of Scripture expressing that hope than 1 Peter 1:3-7. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
Those who have never obeyed the Gospel, and those who have but have not remained faithful to it, still have the blessings of America and her freedoms to be thankful for. However, those of us who hold faithfully to the Gospel and all things attendant to it, have not only the blessings of this life to be thankful for, but also the hope that is laid up in heaven for us. As we enjoy a Thanksgiving Day with the turkey and all the trimmings with our families and or friends, let us above all things give thanks to God for the mystery that He has revealed in His only begotten Son, and that we have much more to be thankful for than just the blessings of this life. We have those of the next one.
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