Being Thankful During Thanksgiving
By Bruce Cannon
Can You Believe It? November Already! Time For Thanks, Thanksgiving, And Turkey!
One of my favorite songs has these lines in it: “Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”
We have so much to be thankful for! One of my favorite services of the year is our Thanksgiving Service at Bear Creek. We usually have it on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving and it is a time of sharing testimonies of how good the Lord has been to us. Tears are shed, hearts overflow, and the Lord is honored! What a sweet time of fellowship and worship!
The Apostle Paul is one of my favorite Bible characters and his epistles are some of my favorite Scripture. I especially love the book of Philippians! He is in prison in Rome awaiting execution and he knows it is coming very shortly. Yet, he is filled with joy. As I understand the timeline, Philippians is the next to last book Paul writes; Second Timothy is his last.
The truths Paul knew and lived by as he was facing execution are some that we definitely need to know and live by ourselves! While we are not facing execution, we are facing very troublesome and turbulent times in a nation where there is so much pain and evil present. Check out a few of the verses Paul shares in Philippians:
1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (God is never going to leave us, forsake us, or give up on us! This verse sounds as if Paul is having no problems whatsoever. What a declaration of faith!)
4:6,7) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Don’t worry; give all your cares to the Lord and trust Him. He will never let you down. Receive His peace and show Him your thankfulness for it. Again, another tremendous declaration of faith!)
4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.” (His mind is on Christ. He remembers how the Lord has blessed him and taken care of him. And he realizes that if God did it in the past, He will do it in the present and in the future!)
4:11) “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (I, and you, can trust my circumstances to Him. He will always watch over me and take care of me!)
While these are very troublesome times…. times filled with uncertainty, pressures, and stresses, Paul knew the Lord would never forsake Him, never fail Him, would always watch over him, and take him home to Heaven at the end of his life on earth. He stated in 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” How could he lose, why should he worry?
The lyrics to one of my favorite songs are:
“His Eye is On The Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
“His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!” How can we not have a very happy Thanksgiving with what we know of God’s love for us! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Reverend Bruce Cannon currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Bear Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville. Formerly he served as Director of Missions for the Bladen Baptist Association and he has served on the General Board of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
You can read more Good Christian News from Pastor Cannon HERE.