November 24, 2011 we celebrate our national holiday, Thanksgiving. For most us it is a day of eating, eating, football, and eating. Many of us take the time around a festive table to individually give thanks for God and his unspeakable gift of his Son Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation to those who have accepted and believed.
Our Founding Father, George Washington, spoke openly of God’s provision and our duty to acknowledge Him. During his Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789, he pronounced:
“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” He also said: “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
The Preamble to our Constitution of the United States of America reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Our current leaders have abandoned the principles by which George Washington lived and have twisted and corrupted even the beginning of the document that was deemed to retain our freedoms.
We have leaders who can be purchased because of “the love of money.” They have not served as Washington, nor sacrificed in any fashion to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” They’ve accomplished the opposite placing a burden of debt on our children and grandchildren shoulders that can never be paid. They’ve removed domestic tranquility by stealing private property, water rights, regulating almost all freedoms away without legislation in these latter years. They’ve stolen most freedoms our Founders wanted for their posterity. These men and women would never acknowledge nor bow a knee to a Supreme Being as Washington did. That is why “it is impossible for them to rightly govern a nation.”
Well, you say, this is a downer message for Thanksgiving. Let me end with this. God is kind and generous to all men in the hopes they will turn to Him. Luke 6:35 (NASB77)
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” Isn’t that interesting. Ungrateful and evil is in the same sentence? Being ungrateful is evil.
The Lord admonishes us, to bring our concerns to Him. He knows we have cruel, evil men and women oppressing this nation. He heard Daniel’s prayers during his captivity in Babylon. He does not abandon His followers. Paul wrote from prison in Rome to the Lord’s followers in Philippi:
Philippians 4:4-8 (NASB77)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is present.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
Discernment of evil and evil doers is a gift from God. We must be aware of what is around us and happening to us. We, must however, dwell on His goodness. Our comfort is what George Washington and saints of all ages have held. It is the unchanging, omnipotent, omniscient, loving Creator who has the power to change the hearts of leaders or to give us new ones. Proverbs 21:1 (NASB77) “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.”
Our duty is to take Him at his word in Philippians 4:6 , “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything (in all circumstances) by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God.” This does not mean be “thankful” for the circumstances. It means while “in” those circumstances be thankful that God is loving, sovereign and in control. Our circumstances are NOT taking Him by surprise. Daniel was well aware God ordained his situation and trusted Him. Daniel prayed three times a day. We would do well to follow his example. Delighting in the Lord and meditating on the truth of His Word are a great antidote to anxiety. Thank Him for His Truth, His power, His Wisdom, His Sovereignty, His loving purposes and Hope beyond this world.
Thank Him for Him, His Son and THEIR sacrifices for us. I know the relief it gives. He loves to be thanked and trusted. When we don’t understand his His hand, we can trust His heart toward us.
Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone.
Note: The authored experienced a death in her immediate family two weeks ago. God was gracious bringing her son unexpectedly along with his 3-year-old daughter to the services. He traveled four hours to the services, spent four hours with the family, drove four hours back home and went to work that night. The Lord gave us joy during a trying time, and their son the heart and physical strength to help.