~by Randy Bushey
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name (Psalm 100:4).
It was a decision of the Canadian government, proclaimed by Governor General Vincent Massey in January 1957:
A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October.
But in truth, the concept of an annual autumn thanksgiving was celebrated long before:
– the Indigenous peoples of Canada were known to celebrate a fall harvest, likely prior to the arrival of European settlers;
– history records early English and French explorers holding a Thanksgiving-like feast;
– and, in the Maritimes, fall feasts featuring turkey and pumpkin pre-date Confederation.
But the Governor General’s identification of a national day of collective thankfulness – the concept being a product of our national parliament – is worth a 2nd glance.
In it, the thankfulness is directed specifically.
In our era of Thanksgiving being about food, family and football, gratitude is ambiguous and the target of our appreciation is often intentionally vague.
But the statement is clear: our thankfulness is to be directed to Almighty God, the Sovereign Lord of the Bible.
And secondly, our thanksgiving to God is primarily in recognition of an anticipated – and perennially provided – bountiful harvest.
It expresses faith in His providential delivery of a generous harvest and resulting prosperity.
However, our 21st century culture is too often characterized by Paul’s 1st century observation: They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does (Romans 1:21, Philips translation).
Suppressing the truth of His existence. Ignoring the natural impulse to give Him thanks.
Takeaway: for the Christ-follower, recognizing that we are in eternal covenant with Almighty God – every day – is cause for Thanksgiving!
And the Lord provides an additional blessing to those who choose thankfulness as a regular attitude toward Him.
Our era is often characterized by anxiety – in nations, in families, in marriages, and in individual experience.
But God’s promise is most practical in our lives.
Here’s what we’re to do: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6, NIV).
And here’s the promised consequence for your life: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NIV).
Christ-followers are promised protection; prayer with thankfulness garrisons your heart!
It’s a simple, bulletproof promise to ward off anxiety.
Prayer + thanksgiving = peace + protection.
So, be thankful!
*graphic by Rockelle Muncsh, freeimages.com