Devotional for Thursday November 26th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Be thankful”
Our Bible verse for today: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Give thanks”
One of the first thanksgiving celebrations in America was celebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth Massachusetts in the autumn of 1621. At that time the small group of settlers were still struggling to survive in the new world and their future was uncertain. Many had perished already; they had little in terms of provisions or security; and they were facing what promised to be a harsh winter. But still, they gave thanks to God.
Thanksgiving Day became an official national holiday in the USA in November 1863. It was at that time, in the midst of a bloody Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln called the nation together for a day of thanksgiving and he declared that from that year forward the fourth Thursday in November would be an annual national day of Thanksgiving. Once again, thanksgiving was offered to God in the middle of great suffering and uncertainty.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16 the Apostle Paul urged his readers to give thanks in everything. Interestingly, Paul wrote that letter to Christians who were faced with opposition and persecution for their faith. Life in Thessalonica wasn’t easy for Christians at that time and yet, Paul urged them to rejoice and give thanks anyway.
Gratitude is one of the greatest Christian virtues. Being thankful in the midst of adversity, and focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have, is a sign of spiritual maturity.
On this Thanksgiving Day 2020 our nation is struggling. We’re still dealing with the COVID pandemic; many of our cities are seething with social unrest; we just came through a bitterly fought Presidential election whose outcome is still being contested; the economy is weak and many are out of work; in many ways our nation is divided – there’s a lot of anger and bitterness between groups; and, worse, there doesn’t seem to be an end to it all in sight right now. So, most of us are weary of it all and are longing for relief.
So, perhaps on this Thanksgiving it’s more important than ever for us to be intentionally thankful. It’s true that things are tough, but God is sovereign; Jesus is still on the throne; you are still saved; and we are all still very blessed. As difficult as things may seem right now, we still have much to be thankful for.
Personally, I’m thankful for you. You are friends and church family and faithful readers of these daily devotionals, and I thank God that you are part of my life. My family and I wish you and yours a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving celebration today.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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