Thanksgiving more than ‘turkey day’

The Bible says we are to “Give thanks always for all things.” Our country has established one special day a year — the fourth Thursday in November — as “Thanksgiving Day.”

And that’s great. But God says don’t give thanks one day of the year. We are to always give thanks, and we give those thanks to God.

What does Thanksgiving Day mean? Does everybody really count their blessings and thank God for them? It’s more than a “turkey day,” more than a family gathering   and more than football day. Let us give thanks to God. And we want to make sure those thanks are to God, not to just who knows whom.

For example, we were at a graduation recently and a young woman offered the invocation. She began with “We thank you for . . .” and went on to tell the many things they were thankful for and I think she possibly made some requests. She ended the invocation “in your name.”

I thought: “In whose name?” She never once mentioned the Creator, God, or anyone else. A nearby person said, “That was a generic prayer if I ever heard one!”

So at Thanksgiving, consider all the good things in your life that you can thank God for. Maybe you say you don’t have much for which to give thanks. But stop and think carefully. Yes, you might have a lot of problems — maybe illness, loss of a loved one or financial troubles. But the Bible also tells us we are to “give thanks always for and in all things.” Can you thank God for difficulties, for losses or for grief? Look to Him. He loves you very much. Thank Him for that. His love does not fail — ever.

We had the experience of learning to “give thanks always for all things.” Years ago, our second daughter was killed instantly when a sleeping driver ran into our car. Could we give thanks and still grieve? God says to do that. He knew that we grieved — He understood. But we could be thankful that our sorrow was not without hope. She had placed her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior, and she was immediately with the Lord. We read in II Corinthians 5 that for the Believer, “to be absent from the body (death) is to be present with the Lord.”

So, yes, even in difficulties we can and must give thanks. Just to list a few things for which to thank God:

Christ has paid the price for our sins and finished the work of salvation.

We have the Bible. (Many folks in the world don’t have the Bible in their language). Do you appreciate the Bible and read it? Thank God for His beautiful, wonderful creation.

And yes, thank Him for that delicious turkey you have to eat on Thanksgiving Day. People in many places in the world will be hungry as we feast at the Thanksgiving table. Let us give thanks — to the God who made us and provided for us.

If you have a Bible question write to Pastor Lenard Huebscher, 12721 75th St. North, Stillwater, MN, 55082 or call 651-503-9695.