Nov 24

In All Things Give Thanks posted by John Sorensen on Nov 24, 2011

Thanksgiving. It’s a day that we should stop and give thanks to God for all that He has done. Truth is I’m not certain what your year has been like. There are some who have been through very great hardship and struggle, so to stop and give thanks may seem strange. But the truth is that’s what we’ve been called to do. In fact, I would remind you that the idea of Thanksgiving came in the midst of a very great struggle.

The very first Pilgrims that came to these shores endured one of the most difficult winters that humans could abide. Many, in fact, half of their number died in the middle of that winter. Yet, after summer having received assistance from the Indians, they stopped and even in the midst of great heartbreak made a decision to give thanks. And later in 1863, when the day became established, you might remember that President Abraham Lincoln made this proclamation,

“The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, … I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Sounded like a great year, right? They stopped they were going to give thanks. But I would remind you that this year was right smack dab in the middle of the Civil War, a time which some would say was the darkest days of these United States. So if Abraham Lincoln during his time could encourage Americans to stop and set aside a day to give thanks, then I think perhaps regardless of what is going on in our lives today, whether it be easy or hard, it’s wise and right that we would stop and make a decision to give praise to God. Let this day be a day of tremendous thanksgiving before our Lord.

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