Every November here in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For many years, it has traditionally and officially been a national holiday. For those of us who are Christians, it is more than a holiday. It is a Holy Day. I'm sure that many of us will spend a few hours that day, in giving thanks to the Lord. The Scriptures, in both the Old and the New Testaments call us to this discipline of thanksgiving. Not occasionally but consistently. We are called to develop and then to practice "an attitude of gratitude."
• The Psalmist wrote, It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord (Psalms 107:1).
• The Apostle Paul wrote, Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus
As a young man I discovered a great, old Swedish hymn, TAK O GUD (Swedish), or THANKS TO GOD (English). It's a great outline for thanksgiving. The bolded words are from the hymn. After each word/phrase, I will share a thought or two.
Thanks to God for my Redeemer. Paul, too, expresses Thanks to God for His indescribable Gift (II Corinthians 9:15). Paul, in his writings, is expansive and explosive in putting Jesus at the top of every list. In Colossians he says . . . He is the image of the invisible God. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things. He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Thanks for ALL that You provide. Instead of ending the hymn with this all-inclusive phrase, the song begins with an acknowledgement that we must give thanks for everything that God has provided, is providing, and will provide. Occasionally I spend an extended period for thanksgiving. I go to my earliest recollection of God at work in my life. Then I proceed to the present time. I give thanks for everything . . . yes, indeed, everything.
Thanks for Home and thanks for Fireside. Thanks for the home that you were born into. Thanks for your present home setting . . . for parents, and grandparents, brothers sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and for your children and grandchildren. Thanks also for those special warm and cozy spots. These are the "Fireside" moments.
Thanks for Roses, thanks too for the Thorns. The Roses are the good times . . . the fragrant times . . . the beautiful times. We've all had some of those absolutely wonderful times. Maybe a rose here and there and posssibly a bouquet of roses. Thank you, Lord. The Swedish hymn also mentions Thorns. The stem that holds the beautiful roses also has prickly thorns. These, spiritually speaking, may be hurtful, painful, and troublesome. There are many thorns on the stem that also produces the Rose. What are these thorns? They can be troubles of all sizes, shapes, and severities. Even the Apostle Paul had a thorn. mentioned in II Corinthians 12.The Bible doesn't explain or identify what the thorn was. Paul thought it hindered his ministry. He prayed three times that God would remove the thorn. God didn't take it away. Instead God gave him grace and strength to accept the thorn. What about you and your thorn?
Thanks for Times now but a memory. There were some wonderful times in the past, weren't there? But now all you have left is a memory. Thank Him for the memory.
Thanks for Jesus by my side. Perhaps you have come to know Him as Savior . . . as Lord . . . Friend . . . as
Companion. I'm glad that the hymn mentions Jesus as the Companion that travels alongside with you. He's always there
. . . in fact, He's here right now.
Even now as you anticipate the arrival of Thanksgiving Day, perhaps this hymn has broadened your list of things to be thankful for.
Founder, Senior Associate