by Pastor Jeff Archie
Psalm 92:1 (NKJV)
1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
The year of 2020 has not been like any other year that this generation has experienced. Our lives are complicated by the violence, COVID-19 pandemic, mass deaths, political upheaval, racial injustice, and other troubles that we encounter daily. Our lives have been restructured and restricted to point that what was “normal” may not be our way of life for some time.
Even as believers, we can begin to look at the surrounding events and forget that we still have much to be grateful for. We serve a God that cares for our smallest needs. God assures us in the scriptures that, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” (Heb. 13:5). With such an assurance, our hearts ought to be confidence that our God will take care of us.
Our challenge is to maintain our faith in God even in times of trouble. It is times like this that prayer becomes a necessity in the believer’s life. The bible reminds us that when the righteousness cry, God hears them (Psalms 34:15,17). We do not serve a God that is passive and uninterested in our daily affairs.
Sometimes we can forget to be thankful for the smallest of blessings. We may not have everything that we want, but God gives us what we need. Contentment with life’s circumstances is needed when viewed through the lens of the word of God. Everything may not look like it is working for us, but it is still for our good. Sometimes we overlook what we do have and focus on what we do not have because our materialistic outlook has driven to the point of greed and covetousness.
In Mark 8:5-8, Jesus once allowed his disciples to share in focusing on the need of others and the miraculous results it reaped when done in thanksgiving. We often forget about other’s needs and allow ourselves to be overcome with self-centeredness and unconcern for our fellow man. It was the attitude of thanksgiving by our Lord with others in mind by which everyone was blessed.
The scriptures encourage us “In everything give thanks”. The late Dr. James Kennedy once made clear in one of his Thanksgiving Day messages that the Bible says “in” everything, not “for” everything we are to give thanksgiving. The Psalmists declares that ‘I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth’ (Psalms 34:1). God is pleased with His people when they ‘bless’ His name regardless of their current circumstances or condition. God is pleased when we express our trust in Him and when we practice the giving of thanks.
For the Christian, every day should be a day of thanksgiving. Every day is a day God has provided for us to glorify Him. The Psalmist reminds us in Psalms 118:24, “this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in him”.