23 November 2017

Thankful for Christ


Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 118:1)

Today and everyday, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for a warm house that is also truly a home. I am thankful for a church that is faithful to the exposition of God's Word, and for the family of brothers and sisters that I have found in that church. I am thankful for God's providence in leading me to that family of believers even though it is a distance away. I am thankful for my blood family, for the memories we have made and the memories that are still to come. I am thankful for a fluffy kitty who somehow loves me even when I take him to the vet. I am thankful for a job that I enjoy in spite of its ofttimes stressful moments. I am grateful to the Lord for the opportunities and platforms He has given me through this blog and Equipping Eve. The list goes on and on. I am abundantly, exceedingly, undeservedly blessed.

We all are, aren't we? This is because God is good and every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17). His goodness is part of His nature. A simple search of Scripture for the phrases or words, "give thanks," or "thanksgiving," leads us to conclude the following cause and effect truth: The Lord is good, ergo, the believer must give Him thanks.

This is not conditional. We do not only offer our thanks in times of joy and relative ease and comfort; rather, we offer God our praise and thanks at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:18), even in times of trial or sadness. This is because even these moments are ordained (cf. Isaiah 25:1) by a good and perfect Father who knows how best to care for His children (Luke 11:13). In His providence, He works all things together, even difficult seasons of life, for His glory and for their good (Romans 8:28).

No believer would argue, then, that the Lord is good and that His goodness far exceeds our comprehension of the term. We need only look around us to see that this is true. It is not difficult to see His goodness and kindness extended to us personally in the most basic daily provisions. Each one of us has multiple stories of how a seemingly impossible or difficult situation was ultimately turned around in a way that caused us to see the hand of God at work and to offer Him praise and thanks. Each of us has experienced a time when, even if the outcome was not favorable from an earthly perspective, God's faithfulness was on full display. Yes, all of us have a list of things for which we are thankful.

Still, the greatest display of God's goodness and the most marvelous presentation of His love for His own is found in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who laid down His life for His own.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
This is why every day and every moment is an opportunity for the Christian to give thanks to the Lord. Jesus Christ, out of obedience to His Father and love for His sheep, offered Himself so that we might be reconciled to God. Is there any greater goodness? Is there any greater reason to give thanks?

On this Thanksgiving Day, may we not fail to thank our provider God for His daily care. For our homes and our food, our family and friends, our church and our job, we are indeed thankful. Even if all these things were to be stripped from us in a moment, though, we would still have reason to offer praise to our God. Even if all our earthly comforts suddenly disappeared, we would still have Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Savior and the Lord. Without Him, without His perfect life, His atoning death, and His glorious resurrection, there could be no salvation for men. Without the Good Shepherd, the sheep would be hopelessly lost.

Today and everyday, we are thankful for the sweet name and person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 106:1)

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