“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD He is God; it is He who has made us and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.” – Psalm 100 NKJV
There are many things to give thanks for, here are some ways I’m considering them this year:
I. Giving Thanks for Things Past
- God’s creative work – “It is He who has made us”, we are no accident and all lives are precious.
- God’s providential hand – “We are the sheep of His pasture”, He chose to bless our country’s founding and raise us up to be a powerful influence in the world. This quote from William Bradford (Governor of the Plymouth colony) sums it up well: “Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand…as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation.”
- God’s personal blessings – There are many people and events in our past that were direct blessings from the Lord.
II. Giving Thanks for Things Present
- God’s provision – He provides for us not only physically, but in many other ways too.
- God’s blessings – He brings goodness to our lives out of kindness, because He is good.
- God’s Empowering – He sustains us each day by giving us the strength we need.
III. Giving Thanks for Things Future
- God’s plans for us are filled with goodness – His ways are always good because He is good (even if we can’t see it).
- God’s plans for us are filled with mercy – He is a loving Father and “His mercy is everlasting”.
- God’s plans for us are filled with truth – There will be ultimate ‘vindication’ for those of us who believe, and His Word will prove to be true (all of it).
So, what are you thankful for this year? May William Bradford’s words also be said of us, “…the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation.”