On Thanksgiving Day millions of Americans will enjoy and be thankful for a delicious meal (deep fry my turkey, please). As we prepare to dig in to the turkey, dressing, and gravy, we may express our gratitude for family and friends. Perhaps we will go around the table and share specific things for which we are thankful. Truly, we are a blessed people living in a blessed land.
However, there are many hurting people living in sorrowful circumstances. For them it may be difficult to see and list things that are easily appreciated. At times, life can be hard. We all have burdens, hardships, problems, and disappointments. It is the stark reality of living in a sin-cursed world. But, there are some very precious truths for which we can always be thankful.
Psalm 100 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture for the Thanksgiving holiday. Consider the last two verses of this short but powerful chapter:
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.—Psalm 100: 4–5
We can perform the instructions of thankfulness in verse four because of the attributes of God given in verse five. We can be thankful, praise, and bless the Lord because He is eternally good, merciful, and true. With that in mind consider these four basic yet profound facts that you can be thankful for today.
1. You Can Be Thankful That “God Loves You”
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:—1 John 3:1
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16
God has expressed and demonstrated His boundless love by sending His Son, Jesus, to earth so that we could have a personal relationship with Him.
2. You Can Be Thankful That “Jesus Died for You”
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.—1 John 4:10
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.—Romans 5:8
Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sin of every person who has ever lived. That means He died on the cross for you and for me.
3. You Can Be Thankful That “Salvation Is Offered to You”
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:—Colossians 1:14
Salvation means that my sins are forgiven and that I am redeemed from the debt of sin I owed.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:—John 1:12
Salvation means that I have a relationship with God. I am no longer His enemy; I am His child.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.—Romans 10:9–10
To receive the offer of salvation I am told by the Bible to sincerely believe and simply receive that Jesus is God’s Son and that He alone can save me. I cannot save myself.
4. You Can Be Thankful That “Heaven Is Waiting for You”
Jesus said in John 14:1–4: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
Jesus went on to say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
You can know right now that you are saved—that you are born again. You can know that your sins are forgiven and that you have peace with God the Father. You can know that you are a child of God and that you have an eternal home in Heaven. But, the only way to know you are saved is to know Jesus as your Saviour.
Now, that is something to be thankful for!