Joy and Gratitude
by Rev. Tom Gray
The Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving didn’t really have a lot to be thankful, by our standards. They had just endured a severe winter in which a significant number of their group died. Food had been hard to come by and the weather itself had been deadly. So, why Thanksgiving?
The Pilgrims were devout Christians and biblical scholars. They knew from Scripture that, even though the World might be against them, God was for them. Even if they were to die, they knew that God’s promise was for everlasting life in heaven. Thereby they maintained an attitude that looked for hope beyond the present circumstances.
Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus
(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
We are incredibly blessed by any standards today. There are a lot of things to be thankful for. Yet there are some of us, myself included, who struggle physically each day. The Bible teaches us not to lose hope but, in all circumstances, look toward the Lord who created us and who promises our future—no matter what we encounter here.
We might not have reason to be thankful for a condition we are in, but we are always thankful for the hope that Christ provides, now and forever.
…“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have used your great power
and have begun to rule!