Thanksgiving is celebrated this week. Many families, both religious and non-religious, across this country will be expressing their gratitude for their families and the blessings they enjoy. As Christians we should be the example of thankfulness every day! We must maintain a sense of thankfulness in all that we do. Paul will write to the Christians in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and remind them to “give thanks in all circumstances”, explaining that “this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We often talk about trying to discern God’s will in many things. Here we have a very clear directive of what God’s will is. God wants you and I to be thankful.
Here in Spokane Valley we are blessed both as a body of believers and as individuals. We enjoy a tremendous amount of freedom. Our congregation is slowly growing, we have godly elders, more members are getting involved and I see the undercurrent of pursuing God and doing his will is growing—becoming more apparent in many ways. As individuals we have homes, heat in cold weather, food, and tremendous luxury. We may not always think we live in luxury—but in comparison to the world we do. The poorest among us has access to clean water, electricity, heat, food and medical care—even if they have no ability to pay for it. In fact, WA along with every other state in the US has laws that do not allow electric companies from turning off electricity during winter if the weather is below freezing, and in some states in the south during summer if the weather is in the triple digits. According to an article in TIME magazine (Jan 2015) “given the much higher standard of living in the U.S., what is considered poor here is a level of income still not available to most people globally.” And Republican Congressman Issa from California (May 2015) reminds people—to the outrage of some—that “despite the dramatic pictures of homelessness in America” the median poor family in the US with children live in an “air-conditioned home with three color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, a video game system, a personal computer, and a kitchen stocked with every necessary appliance, including a refrigerator, both an oven and a stove, a microwave, and a coffee maker.” We are blessed. And we should be thankful.
1 Chronicles 16:34, “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving-kindness is everlasting.”