On this Thanksgiving holiday, I have been reflecting on what families should be grateful for as they gather together to give thanks and reflect within themselves on the many blessings of God. It’s safe to say that we live in a society that, even in our “thankfulness”, lends itself to a self-focus. And further more, we very rarely give thanks to the Creator and Giver of all things. However, for those of us who are believers this should not be so. Everything in life is seen as a mercy gift from our gracious heavenly Father who loves us. The Psalmist gives us a command to give thanks: “Oh give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endures forever [Psalm 118].” In verse three of Psalm 118, the Psalmist tells the “house of Aaron” to give thanks. As a household, we should be giving thanks and not just on this holiday week but each and every day. I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter because I want to take a look at just a few of the many reasons this Psalm compels us to give thanks.
1. He is Merciful
The Psalmist repeats this phrase five times. It must be pretty important if it is given this much repetition. But why? Because he knows that without the mercy of the Lord, all of us, even the wicked, would not know the blessings we receive each day. It is only of the mercy of God that anyone in this world receives anything he or she has. Remember this as you drive your car. Remember this when you put on your clothes. Remember this when you take a hot shower. Remember this as you feast on this Thanksgiving Day.
2. He Hears us
“I called upon the Lord in my distress: the Lord answered…v.5” Our God hears us. He is listening and answering. Live and pray as such. Pray often. Give thanks often. Ask often. Know He is and will answer. He will deliver you. He will be your strength. He will meet your needs. He desires to commune with you in prayer.
3. He Fights for us
The Lord will and is fighting for you. He has helped and guided you. He has been your strength. When you were surrounded by the enemy or compassed by much sorrow and fight, remember as the Psalmist says [v.10-12], “for in the name of the Lord I [destroyed] will destroy them…” Never give up, because the Lord has and will fight for you.
4. He is our salvation
Grace has been pored upon us in over abundance. Our God has lavished His grace upon us. The Psalmist knows and proclaims it with confidence: “I will praise Thee: for Thou hast heard me and art become my salvation [v.21].” This, of all things, ought to make us most thankful: grace so rich and free. Give thanks for God’s grace. For by it you have been saved, and by it you now live.
From the Psalmist perspective, he tells a story of hardship. He has been wearied and torn. The fight has been intense. Suffering and evil have compassed him on all sides. Yet, he knows he has been blessed even in the midst of it all, because his God has been at his side. So, maybe it’s been a hard year for you and your family. Maybe things have not gone as you thought or planned. But remember this: “His mercy endures forever”. This alone is reason enough to give thanks. At the end of the day, whether as a family or as an individual, we know that anything beyond God’s saving grace is more than we deserve. We, of all people, should be most grateful. What reasons have we to complain? Our souls are being saved; our lives are in the hand of a sovereign and loving master. So, as you sit around the table with your family this Thanksgiving, remember that you of all people are most blessed and therefore have much to give thanks for.
Thanking Him with you,
How would you describe the perfect retreat: a quiet secluded beach; a cabin near a mountain stream? How about 60 people at a camp facility hungry for Christian fellowship and the preaching of God’s Word? How about a volunteer staff hungry to serve those who are attending? How about the blessing of God and the joy of genuine worship?
Passion4Christ Summit was a blessed retreat for single Christians who found that Biblical doctrine is not dry, stale, or boring but foundational for life. The balance of fun, fellowship, and fervent worship served as refreshment for tired, hungry, and expectant souls. For the Cavanaugh’s, it was all we coud ever expect and more. May the blessing of the Lord be upon His Word, and may fruit abound in the lives of those who heard it. We hope to see you at P4C’12!
This is a short post by our dear friend Brittany Crist [College Plus coach] who attend P4C’11. We thought you might like to hear from an attendee and how God spoke to her. Enjoy.
In the busyness of my life, rest seems elusive. Consumed by “doing”, I so often forget about the “being.” And yet our Lord tells me, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Passion4Christ Summit 2011 was such a time for me to re-focus. A time to lay aside the busyness of life, and truly seek His face. A leading by the still waters, where He restores our souls. A time to come to the foot of the cross once more, looking only to Jesus. To be still. And know that He is God.
Highlights of the week for me definitely included the fabulous speakers, incredible times of worship through music, the Ponderosa theme dinner night, the zip line, stories by campfire, and the volleyball tournament! However, my favorite by far was time of mutual encouragement with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For “those who tell of battles won, or those struggling in the fight.” To recall His faithfulness together. For He who called IS faithful
P4C is truly all about…Jesus. Setting our gaze on Him alone. For all of life. As Mr. Novotny put it, it is all about our “GREAT BIG GOD, and itty bitty every other thing.”
So. Mark your calendar for the Passion4Christ Summit 2012. October 24-28. Ohio. You will not want to possibly miss it. You will come away changed. For His Word does not return void.
Until then, by His grace, let’s continue to rest IN Him in the midst of the busyness. For our souls do find rest in Him alone. Keep looking to Jesus!
Brittany Crist – P4C’11 attendee