Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
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.
(Psalm 100, 1-5, NIV)
How many of us focus on our day-to-day problems and forget to be grateful for the things that most people around the world consider a blessing? This week Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday and as a nation, we have so much to be thankful for. The United States of America has been the most materially blessed nation in modern history. I believe the nation’s rise to superpower status was birthed, some 4,000 years ago, with one man’s faithfulness to God. God called Abram to leave his country and go where He would lead him. In Genesis 17:1-6, God promised Abram that He would cause many nations and kings to come from his lineage. When Abraham, in obedience, was willing to sacrifice his only beloved son, Isaac, God made an unconditional promise to Abraham. In Genesis 22, The angel of the Lord said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.
(Numbers 32:11-13, NIV)
In the above-mentioned verse, we see that the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, a journey that could have taken eleven days. God wants to bless the descendants of Israel. He wants to give ancient Israel national greatness, and as Christians we believe the promise of salvation was fulfilled through Abraham’s seed in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16). Our great nation was founded on Christian principles, and I believe we are blessed by God. Let us celebrate Thanksgiving this year with gratitude for our freedom. Freedom of our county and as believers.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:1-4, NIV)