It is with profound gratefulness that I write my column this week. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year.

While I am thankful for every day of my life, I am filled with joy acknowledging that this special day has been set aside by our nation.

I encourage every citizen of the United States to bow their head to our Lord for all the blessings bestowed upon them. Without debate, we have been bountifully blessed by a loving God.

To recognize one’s blessings, one must intently and honestly examine the bounty bestowed by a benevolent Creator in their lives. God’s love and goodness is evidenced by innumerable demonstrations of kindness on our daily journey. We should pause in quiet reflection to count all of our blessings.

It is our natural tendency to overlook the act of humble thanksgiving. Whether it is neglect or indifference to the daily goodness received, we can pause on this holiday to acknowledge God’s acts of mercy and grace. What a blessing for a family to gather together and, as a unit, testify of His great goodness upon them.

God has been good to each of us, and He is worthy of our gratitude, thanksgiving and praise. As the old hymn declares, “Praise God from whom all blessing flows” … a humble imperative.

In an imperfect world filled with tragedy, war and disease, we lose focus of the myriad of ways that God is still blessing and at work in the lives of His people. We all too often complain about the trials and tribulations that we encounter.

Our dissatisfaction with circumstances grievously robs us of the joy that should be experienced from a genuine attitude of gratitude. Some of the most joyful people I have met are poor, incarcerated or living in a third-world country.

We are prompted by the word of God to give thanks in all things, for that is the sovereign will of God.

Amidst our heartache is God’s perfect purpose, plan and time. Let us thank God for it. God is good, all the time. Let us continue to trust Him and be thankful for guiding each step of our journey. This is the wisest choice.

Even though we regret unfortunate setbacks, it is not the end of the story, nor is it void of God’s mercy or the unseen hand of blessing in the midst of heartache.

The reality of a world filled with the effects of sin is the unfortunate reaping of its consequences. Nowhere does God promise to give us a fair life. Justice and rewards will come in eternity. However, based upon our personal sinful acts of depravity, we do not deserve God’s blessing. Yet, the goodness of God leads people to repentance … thank you Lord.

Thanksgiving is not limited to one’s material blessings but also extends to the spiritual, fraternal and emotional realms. Let us be rich in faith and recognize the heart of God. God is faithful, and He cannot deny His own nature.

God loves us and has demonstrated that love by sending His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, into the world for our salvation. Thank God, His grace is still amazing.

This Thanksgiving, let us bow with humble hearts and thank God. This is more than turkey day. This is a day set aside by our forefathers to pay homage to Almighty God for the wonders of His love and His benevolent hand of goodness.

Have a great holiday.

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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