It is with profound gratefulness that I write the column this week.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. While I am thankful for every day of my life, I am filled with joy acknowledging that this day has been set aside by our nation. We the people of the United States should bow our head to The Creator for all the blessings bestowed upon us. Without debate, we have been divinely blessed.

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

It is our natural tendency to overlook the necessary deed 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 it is 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, thanks 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 God is still blessing and at work in the lives of people. We all too often complain about the trials and tribulations 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, or incarcerated or living in a third world country.

We are prompted in 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. 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 unseen Hand of blessing.

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 extends to the spiritual, fraternal and emotional. 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!

Reach Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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