By Larry Ray Hafley
For children of God, every day is a day of thanksgiving. Even our pleas and petitions are to be accompanied by expressions of thanks “With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). Jesus commended the giving of thanks for kindnesses shown and blessings bestowed (Luke 17). One of the first signs of depravity is the lack of thankfulness (Rom. 1:21). Truly, brethren, “be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
While our nation’s “Thanksgiving Day” is not a special day of worship for the people of God, it is encouraging to note the gracious words of reverence and respect that instituted our national holiday. President George Washington said:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor … now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November . . . to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the people of this country.. .
President Abraham Lincoln said:
The year that is drawing to its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. . . . No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gifts of the . . . Most High God. . . . I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November . . . as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
Can anyone imagine our current president being able to express similar sentiments without being hooted off the stage and ridiculed in the liberal press? Is it any wonder, therefore, that our nation’s moral and spiritual fiber is coming apart at the seams, whether in the darkness of deprived ghettos or in brightness of depraved corporate board rooms?
Until presidents can once again echo the wonderful words of Washington and Lincoln without fear of mocking derision, our great country will continue its inevitable decline. But, while we fervently pray and fondly hope for a new birth of respect for holiness and godliness, let us not fail to give thanks and praise “to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in” heaven.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 23 p. 1
December 4, 1997