Sunday, November 28, 2010

The origin of Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November

The following is from an e-mail friend, Paul Trimiar ~

The history of Thanksgiving is very clear. From the very first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for His provisions. The Pilgrims braved the stormy seas, to get here, and a very harsh winter. About half of those that came here lost their lives. Can you imagine the grief and sorrow there must have been at that time? But they gave thanks. Not just because their lives were spared, but because God had gotten them through this hard time. And not that they would not have hard times to come, but they understood that in everything give thanks:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

Is there something that they understood and we don’t? I think so. I believe that they knew God is still God through all that they had to endure. We go through difficulties and ask, “where is God?” Now I am not trying to minimize difficulties in our lives. The loss of my mom this year was very difficult to me, and still is, but thanking God is not an option to me. It is essential.

Maybe you have lost everything that you own. Or you have an abusive spouse. You know someone who is struggling with a serious health issue. Maybe you just lost your child to war, or you know someone who is struggling with drugs and you are unable to help. I am sure you can think of many more struggles.

The point is, just because your football team may lose does not mean that we should not give thanks. We should give thanks everyday. It’s in the thanksgiving that we find that God satisfies the soul:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness. Psalm 107:8-9

In the Old Testament, Job suffered plenty. I cannot imagine losing my children as he did, but his response was:

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:

Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:20,21

What was Job doing? Job was giving Thanksgiving to the Lord, wasn’t he?

Abraham Lincoln said to a friend, after he gave the Gettysburg Address; "When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ."

Not only did he get saved, but he was thankful and in 1863 set aside the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

I hope you all enjoy yourself and be thankful, not only on this day but everyday because this is GOD’S HEART for you through CHRIST JESUS our Lord.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

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