In spite of the strife and stress of these perilous times of the last days, the saints have good reason to be thankful on this Thanksgiving Day. Not only should we be thankful for all Christ has done, but also for all He is. Every good gift, including the gift of God, which is eternal life, has been graciously given to us from the nail-scarred hand of Him who is our all in all. Still, as Scripture teaches, there are other reasons why we should have no misgiving about today's Thanksgiving.
Every verse in the Bible is important. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be in the Bible. God would not have put it in His Word. There are, however, some verses in Scripture that stand out to us as quite extraordinary. One such verse is I Thessalonians 5:18―"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Notice, this verse admonishes us to give thanks "in" everything, not necessarily "for" everything. For instance, while we cannot be thankful for evil, we can be grateful to a sovereign God in spite of it, assured that He is working all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Here, in this extraordinary verse of God's Word, we are taught not to gripe or grumble, but to always be grateful. Grumblers, as we learn from Numbers 11:1, are not only displeasing to God, but found on the outskirts of God's people, where they are most likely to become recipients of divine retribution. This, in and of itself, is reason enough for us to always be thankful, regardless of our circumstances or situation.
Along with keeping us in the center of "the will of God in Christ Jesus," as well as keeping us from the outskirts of God's people, there are other reasons why we should adopt a lifelong attitude of gratitude. For instance, if you're in the pits, praising God can deliver you from the doldrums. In Genesis chapter 37, we read how Joseph's brother Judah delivered him from the pit. Interestingly, the name "Judah" means "praise." Nothing can deliver you faster from downheartedness than lifting up your heart in praise to God.
Remember, it was when Paul and Silas praised the Lord at midnight that their cell door was miraculously opened and their fetters fell off (Acts 16:26). Nothing brings about our emancipation from encumbering circumstances faster than breaking out in praise of God in the midnights of our lives!
According to 2 Chronicles chapter 20, thanksgiving assures us of victory over our enemy. In this incredible chapter of God's Word, we are told of an incredible battle plan given by God to King Jehoshaphat. In order to win the victory over his enemies, Jehoshaphat is divinely instructed not to put his crack troops out in front of his army, as they march out to war, but to make his vanguard a choir singing praises to God. This unconventional strategy unbelievable nets a most stunning success. Jehoshaphat's enemies turn on one another and destroy themselves. Afterward, Jehoshaphat and his army march right in singing and gather up the spoil.
Here, we learn a most strategic battle plan for our success in spiritual warfare. Nothing foils our threatening foe, the devil, any better than our thanksgiving to God. Could it be that our praise and worship of God remind Lucifer and his fallen angels of the depths to which they have fallen? From their former occupation as heavenly worshippers of God, they've fallen to the fathomless depths of the bowels of Hell. Therefore, is it not possible that our adoration of God so agitates and aggravates the hordes of Hell that they turn on each other every time we lift our voices in praise and thanksgiving?
Well, if you ask me, there's good reason to be thankful to God on this Thanksgiving Day. Not only is it adoration to our Savior, but agitation and aggravation to Satan as well. Happy Thanksgiving!