Soon Thanksgiving Day will be at hand again. The celebration of this day dates back to our Pilgrim Fathers. It was born through the experiences of much hardship; cold, poor crops, and almost continuous danger of Indians, followed by the blessing of an abundant crop. The people realized and accepted this great crop as a gift from God and decided to set aside a day in which to thank God for His many blessings. Ever since. Thanksgiving Day has been kept from year to year.
However, today, Thanksgiving Day is spent by the great majority of people, in seeking their own pleasure and little thought is given to God as the giver of all things. But the Christian and especially the Reformed Christian thinks differently about it. He has the deep conviction that each day must be Thanksgiving Day. He knows that, according to God’s Word, all things are blessings for them that love God. for all things must work together for their good, even trials and tribulations. And knowing that from the Word of God. we must give God thanks for all things.
First of all, we are thankful for our Christian parents, who teach us to fear God. We are thankful for food, drink, clothing, shelter, etc. But we are not only thankful for the things we would call good and pleasant, but also for sickness, hardship, pain, and hunger. They also must be accepted as blessings for they all bring us closer to Him and that really is the only thing worthwhile—to be near to God and to experience His love and mercy. Then only can we have peace. But those blessings cannot be obtained unless we first have Christ because Christ is the channel through which all blessings flow. If we have Christ, we have all things. In Christ we have forgiveness of sin on the basis of His atoning work, a work that we were unable to do because through the fall of Adam we fell from a state of perfection to a state of total depravity. We have lost the image of God and therewith His favor and communion. Instead of being just, we became unjust, instead of righteous, unrighteous. The result? Everlasting punishment! But it was Christ Who paid the penalty and now we are again righteous in Him, by Grace. We are now justified before God. Again we can enjoy His love and communion and can never fall from it. What a blessing! Shall we then not praise Him and be thankful!
But there is more. In this life, sin still works in our hearts and causes many tears and sorrow and misery. Every night we must confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. But some day, when we are in heaven, we shall be free from all our sin. Then we shall know God as He is and shall serve Him in perfection. There we shall have perfect peace and happiness, forever. And the ungodly? They shall have no rest, no joy but everlasting sorrow, pain, and misery, bearing the curse of God eternally. And we, although no better than they, and also deserving the same punishment, are saved from it by grace through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. Seeing what Christ has done for us, our hearts are filled with love and happiness. We fail to find words to express the overwhelming joy and gratitude with which our hearts are filled and so we speak the simple words, “Our heavenly Father. we thank thee!” That is thanksgiving!