Thanksgiving is the special holiday when we are to celebrate our bountiful provisions from God. Yet, for many Americans, it’s just another day to eat lots of traditional food. It’s easy in this affluent land of people to become comfortable with what they have and assume that it’s their ”right” without giving credit to God. However, there is ample evidence in the Bible that we are to be grateful for everything, and that we are not to forget God’s benefits to us (Psalm 103:2).
In II Chronicles, King Hezekiah is recorded to have reinstituted the Passover, destroyed idols, and made great reforms back to the worship of God. He sought God and his prayers were answered. He defeated his enemies and was blessed with wealth and success in all he undertook.
When he became mortally ill and cried out in prayer, God gave him a sign and healed him. However, the king began to take God’s blessing for granted. It is revealed in II Chronicles 32: 25, “But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” The king’s lack of thankfulness and prideful attitude brought disastrous results. Thankfully, the story continues with Hezekiah repenting and God restoring blessings on Judah to the end of the king’s reign.
The lesson of King Hezekiah is very clear. Being grateful for all we have is very important! When we take our blessings for granted, God will not be with us or bless us. However, when we repent and turn back to Him, He willingly restores us. So, reflect this Thanksgiving on all God has given and done for you. Take time to “continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” Hebrews 13:15). Then thank God for even the next breath you are given. Because it is only “in Him” that we “live and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:26
How to tell what is a thankful heart? A thankful person says, “I have much more than I deserve.” An unthankful person says, “I deserve much more than I have.” If a person does not have a thankful heart he/she will live with a gnawing sense of emptiness. Unthankful hearts are seed beds for ingratitude, chronic unhappiness, frustration, bitterness and discontent.
This Thanksgiving we thank God for our many blessings throughout the year, for your long-term friendship and prayer support, and wish you and yours a bountiful Thanksgiving season and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.
Thanksgiving is first thanks, and then giving…