Thanksgiving, I love it, food, family, football and let's not forget faith. It's always one of my favorite days but this year it is even more special. As I write this article, I am enjoying my six grandchildren, not only spending time with them but helping them to understand about this great American holiday.
Thanksgiving has its roots in the Pilgrims and early settlers to our nation, yet long before they came the Scriptures laid the foundation of why to give thanks and to whom thanksgiving is given.
Psalm 100:4-5, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever his faithfulness continues through all generations."
The Pilgrims understood thanksgiving is given to the Lord. When they came to America, they endured great hardships landing on the shores of New England only to find things even harder. That first year, more than half of their numbers perished but with the help of some kind Native Americans they were able to survive and had a bountiful harvest that first year. To which they did give thanks.
One of their leaders, Edward Winslow, wrote about that provision: "Although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God we are ... far from want."
Yes, they were filled with grief over their losses. Yes, they had more trouble in store yet they understood that not only were they giving thanks for the provision they had but they saw it from the loving hand of God.
The Bible speaks about why Christians give thanksgiving to God, we do it not because of what we have but because of who God is. The Pilgrims understood that God is God and giving him thanks is not because he gave them what they wanted but because he had given them what the needed.
It started when God, in love, did not withhold his only Son but sent Jesus Christ to die for the sin that separated mankind from Himself. Then, in his mercy he continues to provide daily provision.
When speaking about the troubles of life, the Apostle Paul gave direction to the first century church.
Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Interesting the tie between prayer, thanksgiving and peace. When trouble and anxiety come, it is by prayer with thanksgiving to God that the promise of peace is given.
Are you troubled today? Take the psalmist direction for peace with God. Give thanks to God and praise his name.
Thank him for salvation found in Jesus Christ, thank him for his mercy, thank him for his provision, knowing he is good and his love endures forever.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers' Association.