I just did a search online, and I found that the verse "O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever" is in the Bible at least 7 times! Wow! Now I don't know everything about the Bible, but I don't think there's any other verse that appears word-for-word seven times in the Bible. Maybe two or three times, but not seven times! I think it's really neat that this verse about giving thanks and about the goodness of God and His mercy is in the Bible seven times. Maybe God is trying to help us realize just how good and merciful He really is.
Being thankful is commanded for the Christian, but it is not a burden. Being thankful is a lot of fun. Not only that, it's a great way to cheer yourself up if you're feeling a little down, or to encourage someone else. I think every Christian should ask themselves what they are the most thankful for in all the world. I believe that what we are most thankful for reveals a lot about our hearts. The one thing that I am the MOST thankful for in all the world is my salvation. Now I can hear everyone thinking... "That's so cliche. Of course you are thankful for your salvation... duh! What kind of Christian would you be if you weren't thankful for that?" The answer is that I'd be a carnal Christian! There was a time when my salvation didn't mean very much to me. I've been saved since I was five years old, so after a while you do take things for granted. It's just like anything else in life. Most people in Canada take for granted that they will have food to eat today, yet in many countries families are literally starving to death. If we knew we would be starving next month, we'd be a lot more thankful for the food today. I took my salvation for granted for a long time, but I am thankful for the reminders that God sends me to be grateful for it, and I can truly say I am thankful for my salvation!
Beyond my salvation, I have been thinking this week about other things I am thankful for. I'm thankful for all the Christians that God has sent across may path recently, especially since I've opened my business. Yesterday an advertising representative called me, and he is a Christian! I also had a photocopier salesman come into my store and found out he too is a Christian. Both my piano teachers are Christians, and I have a couple of new students this year who are also Christians. I find it interesting how God brings people across my path, and I believe He always does it for a reason.
One of the other things that I am very thankful for is my Bible. I'm SO thankful for the fact that I have God's perfect, holy, inspired, infallible, Word. It brings me so much peace to know that I can trust beyond a shadow of a doubt what I read in the Scripture to be true. No other book can offer that. No other religion can offer that. No person can offer that. Only the Bible is absolute truth. What an amazing God we have that He would give us such a precious book to guide us. Really, without the Bible, being a Christian would be hopeless. How would we ever know what is right?
I'm also thankful for my church and my pastor. I'm thankful for the godly influences and people that God has placed in my life. I'm thankful that I can go to my pastor with questions, and I know he's going to give me a biblical answer. I'm thankful I can ask my parents for advice, and I know they are going to give me advice based on sound biblical principles. I'm thankful that my parents have taught me to search God's Word for answers when I have questions, because I have a lot of questions sometimes!
I'm thankful for the people at church, and how we can encourage and help each other. I'm thankful for the opportunities I have to serve the Lord, like passing out tracts, helping with the music at church, teaching Sunday School, and helping with the youth. I'm thankful for how my church encourages me. I'm thankful that we are encouraged to get out in the community and witness to people. It's a scary thing to go and tell people that they are sinners in need of a Saviour, but knowing that others at church are doing it too is an encouragement.
I'm thankful for prayer! That's been a big one recently! I'm thankful for how I've seen God answer prayer. It's funny because I've been praying for some pretty big issues and some pretty specific things. I haven't seen any miracles yet. No parting Red Seas or blind people receiving sight or anything like that. But, I have seen little answers. They are such small answers and such small things that I almost missed them, but God is answering my prayers for the big things in little ways. I'm not sure that makes sense when you read it, but I can't explain it any other way. I think often when we pray we look for the miraculous. We want God to do the impossible, and then we will believe He's answered our prayer. God CAN do the impossible, but I believe we often overlook His answers because we are so focused on what WE think the miraculous solution to our prayer is. Maybe God isn't going to answer our prayer all at once. Maybe it's going to take time. Maybe it's going to be through a series of seemingly insignificant events, but eventually they will all work together to bring about the "miraculous" answer we are looking for. It's sad, but I think that often by the time that happens most of us have given up praying for that request, and we miss the blessing of seeing it answered.
Happy Thanksgiving :)
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto they name, O most High: To shew forth they lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night."