Shonebarger

I wish to convey my warmest Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family on this incredibly special holiday. In a year of many hardships, we can still humbly acknowledge the blessings bestowed upon ourselves, our nation and its citizens. Almighty God has blessed us, so with grateful hearts, bowed heads and bended knees, let us praise Him.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

— (Psalms 100:4 KJV).

There may be readers who would suggest there is a 900-pound elephant in the room as we seek to thank God for His blessings this year. The question is, how can people be thankful when there have been over 250,000 deaths due to the pandemic? How can people be thankful when there has been rioting in our streets with looting and destruction?

In addition, how can people be thankful when schools are closed, and students are required to learn over a computer screen? How can people be thankful for divisive politics? How can people be thankful when they cannot attend concerts or sporting events? How can people be thankful when houses of worship are closed?

Our answer lies in the Scriptural admonition, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

The first and foremost important factor of a grateful heart is acknowledging that God alone is almighty, all knowing, all loving and all wise. God is in complete control of the affairs of mankind and has a perfect plan for us individually as well as for the nations of the world. With that heart-comforting assurance, we can praise God and thank Him for His decisions.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good! We are in His grip. There is no need to despair. We can rejoice and be glad in the awesomeness of a benevolent Heavenly Father!

No, we do not need to question God concerning the happenstances of life. We can rest. There is no need to worry. The Lord has every circumstance under control. In God we trust, still! Thank God for his plans, purposes, and seasons of your life. God alone is sovereign. Let us be mindful of the “big picture” of God’s divine plan. To everything there is a season. Let us give thanks.

We can thank God for our family. The love of our spouses, our children, our parents, and our extended family is the very fabric of our lives. Even the poorest amongst us can be thankful for the bounty of love and support of their family. It is not the amount of material things that bind a family together; it is the heritage of your people and the legacy we inherit. This Thanksgiving, families will gather to share their love and make memories that will last a lifetime. The family is divinely ordained by God. Thank God for your family.

We can thank God for our nation. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. The soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines honorably defend our nation against enemies, both foreign and domestic. While we go about our daily routines, these patriots keep watch over the four corners of our globe. In addition, we are thankful for the bounty bestowed upon our land. God has blessed our country, from sea to shining sea, with natural resources that feed our world. Furthermore, our nation is a melting pot of people protected by our Constitution with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let us thank God for America.

Let us thank God for His unspeakable gift of salvation. The gift of eternal life by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing of all. The personal relationship we enjoy with our great Redeemer provides us comfort and solace through the darkest days. We praise The Good Shepherd for leading us, sustaining us and strengthening us for the journey.

As I conclude, let us take the time to count all our blessings. We often take for granted the little things of our lives with which God has blessed. A simple “thank you” is so important to share. Gratitude is essential in a life of humility. Let us be humble! We can demonstrate God’s love in our lives by being a blessing to others. Let us also give, as God has given to us.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember, God loves you!

Contact Jon Shonebarger at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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