Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. It is a time where we consume an inordinate amount of food as we make lists of the things of which we are thankful. This tradition of thankfulness happens every year, while we remember all of God’s blessings in our lives. At times this practice can become ritualistic and confined to the month of November rather than us being truly thankful for providence. What if the blessings of God were predicated on our thankfulness?
In the Old Testament, when the children of Israel were making the journey out of Egypt, they were unthankful for God’s provision of mana and quail. They yearned for the garlic and the leeks of Egypt. This attitude of unthankfulness planted seeds of doubt that blossomed and grew within the children of Israel so God punished them by having them wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years, exiling them from the fruit of the promised land. Jesus in the new testament healed ten lepers but only one of them returned to thank him for the miracle of healing. As a consequence, the man who thanked Jesus for the miracle was able to keep his miracle of healing. It is not stated if the other nine were able to keep their miracle.
God is omnipotent and omnipresent. God states in Isaiah 55:8-9 that his ways are higher than our ways. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand an omnipotent, omnipresent God since we are but finite beings. There are times when we struggle through a given season of our lives. We must trust that God has it all worked out for us. The struggle is necessary for our growth in God’s kingdom. As stated in Jeremiah 29:11 God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We must keep our focus on him through each season of life, whether it is a season of trials or a season of prosperity.
God has done incredible miracles in The Life Church Sunday School department. One year and a half ago our consistent attendance in the Kidz Blast classroom was about three or four kids each week. The outreach team consisted four people. Outreach was tough because of the heat, closed doors and closed hearts. Still we trusted in God to do his work. Fast forward to today, our capabilities as an outreach team have multiplied. Our outreach team is now over 20 people strong. Our church kids have a good foundation in God’s word as well as a love for God. This past Kids’ crusade we had twenty-nine guests total, with fifteen bus kids. During the Kids’ crusade God’s spirt moved and touched many hearts. Our current reality was unfathomable a year and a half ago, in summary God worked a miracle.
The bible mandates us to be thankful for our God is sovereign. To borrow the words of John F. Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”. Simply put let us strive to glorify God in every aspect of our lives. It is as worship to the LORD. Thanksgiving should not be trapped in November but every day of the year. In the spirit of Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19, let the melody of our hearts glorify God. We ought to encourage each other in this mindset, that we may have the mind of Christ. Let’s always cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving to our God. When we all cultivate this sprit, we are more apt to blossom into the conquering overcomers, God calls us to be. In unity, under God’s direction, we will take the promised land of bountiful blessings. It will be exciting to see what God will do!
Brother Ezekiel Fernando