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“Then you will say on that day,

‘I will give thanks to You, O Lord…’” (Isaiah 12:1)

There is nothing more natural for a follower of Christ than to be in a constant expression of thanksgiving.

The reader of the Bible will see this instruction and will also express this instruction with great ease as they naturally respond to the eternal God acting upon their behalf. In the book of Psalms the reader is exposed mostly to the ongoing expression of thanks.

The history of our own country will show that as a nation we have historically known who is the true source of our prosperity. An examination of presidential proclamations of thanks to our Creator is as natural as breathing air. Even long before Thanksgiving was a formal holiday, our countrymen had a common understanding that all gratitude is to be directed to the Most High, Almighty God.

That sacred text, the Holy Bible, shows that this practice of national thanksgiving to the only Living God is practiced by the people who are aware from whom their blessings have come. The follower of Christ, as described by the Bible alone, will know that the ability to think, create, act, overcome, love, laugh, cry, feel, experience, and all other temporal experiences are a blessing from the Lord. The ability to work is a gift from God. The ability to play is a gift from God. The homes we live in, the nation we reside in, and the food on the table are all provisions from a kind and benevolent eternal God.

The same God we have sinned against has required death as a payment for our sin. He is the same God who lovingly knew we could never settle the required debt to satisfy his holy wrath. It was even while we were still sinners that Christ died for us. His death, because He is, always has been, and always will be Himself God, was a sufficient payment to absorb the Father’s wrath.

This kind of living in thanksgiving and giving thanks for all things is what people and nations do when they know God is our salvation. It increases our trust in the Lord. The Lord is our strength. The Lord is our song. He is our only hope. There is no other well to joyously draw water from. There is no other God.

Today, there is still no other source for the salvation of sinners than in Jesus Christ. A nation that forgets this will imagine their own gods to praise who will only be able to move from one place to another when placed on a cart with wheels, never hear their prayers, and never direct their steps. A nation that forgets God will eventually either be overcome or will crumble under the weight of sin.

A nation that forgets God will grow increasingly ungrateful, full of pride, promote injustice, and give thanks to self and no god at all. But to the people who belong to the Almighty will naturally

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.

Make known His deeds among the peoples;

Make them remember that His name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12:4)

This week, the nation will stop most everything. It may be true that on the national holiday of Thanksgiving many will observe it as an unholy sabbath as they champion and promote self, but to the ones whom God has turned away his anger, there will be but one thing upon their lips: thanksgiving.

“Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 12:5-6)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Paul Thompson is the preaching pastor at Eastside Baptist Church, 204 Eastland Drive N., Twin Falls. The congregation gathers at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sundays.

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