Thanks At Thanksgiving

November 20, 2018
by Martin Wiles

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Thanking God in every circumstance is challenging — some might say impossible.

I'm a nostalgic kind of guy. In my mind's eye, I can imagine myself sitting at a table with the early Pilgrims and their Indian neighbours who had shown them where to hunt and fish and how to plant. They had made it through a long winter, planted their crops, and reaped a bountiful harvest. They thanked God, but also their Indian neighbours.

Fast forward about four hundred years, and here I am, wishing that I could thank God in a similar fashion with my parents, children, and grandchildren all gathered around a table. But our family has been torn by deaths, divorces, and remarriages, which have increased and decreased the number of parents and grandparents — along with the houses that the family members need to get to during the holiday season. Adding health complications and distance multiplies the challenges. Though my wife tries her best to get them all to our house on Thanksgiving Day, she never succeeds.

Even though the Thanksgiving celebration doesn't look as I want it to, I can still be thankful — in all circumstances — and for quite an impressive list of things.

I'm thankful for family. Although they don't always act as I wish, I'm proud of my family and thankful that God has blessed me with children, grandchildren, and Christian parents.

I'm thankful for friends. The person who has several people in a lifetime who will stick with them through thick and thin is fortunate. Moving around so much has made this challenging for me, but I can still find several people on whom I could call if I needed them.

Worshipping a forgiving God makes me thankful. Through Christ, all my sins are forgiven — past, present, and future. He has removed my condemnation and given me Christ's righteousness.

Believing that God has a purpose for my life makes me thankful. He says that He has plans for me, that they are good, and that He wants me to prosper. I don't have to trudge through life; I can enjoy every moment.

Knowing that God has the power to redeem any and every situation also makes me thankful. The frustrating situations that I encounter and the suffering that I endure are redeemed by God's sovereign power. He brings good from bad and orchestrates events in amazing ways.

This Thanksgiving season and always, let us give thanks to God.

Prayer: Father, give us the mindset to thank You in all seasons of the year and during all seasons of our lives. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen. Happy Thanksgiving, Martin. Blessings.


    Thanks, Martin. This encourages me, as I have similar family issues.


    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Yes! Let’s give God thanks! Blessings.


    Thank you, Brother, for the great devotional. Indeed. Lord, thank You for everything.


    Thanks for your message, Martin. Home is where the heart is. Happy Thanksgiving!


    Martin,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on giving thanks in all circumstances.


    Such a perfect message of thankfulness. After reading it I felt such a sense of wholesome peace. Thank you, Martin, I am thankful for you!


    Martin, Thank you for your devotion to writing devotionals and for this one in particular which inspires to look at what we have to be thankful for in many different areas of our lives. May you be blessed.


    Wow, can I identify with a lot of this devotional. I love when God takes a negative and turns it into a positive!! I pray people can see that, unfortunately, sometimes they do not. Happy Thanksgiving.
    God bless.


    Hello Martin,
    Thank you for writing another so meaningful devotional. We have so much to be thankful for and number one is thanksgiving for our awesome God.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    Happy Thanksgiving, Martin.
    I can SO relate to your message today. We struggle, each year, to get our family together. We met after our marriages broke up. Getting everyone together – as you say – is near impossible. Grandchildren are growing fast; many are working. Large gatherings, while fun to prepare for and enjoy, are exhausting, but still, we try.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I pray that you will be blessed with far more good (God) surprises than you anticipate.
    (ON. Canada)


    Good Morning, Martin,
    Your devotional resonated with me. When I was a child, we moved every six years, and new friends were gained but some friends were lost.
    Our pastor told a story on Sunday of a lady he knew when as a young boy from his church. When she was asked how she was, she replied, “I am blessed.” Our pastor then went on to preach along that theme. When he finished his sermon, he asked the congregation, “How are you?” Of course, we replied (and meant it), “I am blessed.” I love that story.
    Best wishes to you and your family for a “blessed” Thanksgiving.
    (Texas)


    Happy Thanksgiving Martin!


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Thank you for such a precious devotional with gospel truth ringing in spite of less than the best circumstances.
    I pray for you and all of your connections, that God will keep people knowing of his forgiveness and perfect love and healing in Jesus Christ.
    Keep writing.


    Thanks for another inspiring message. I have similar family issues and continue to pray for all and am thankful as you remind us for children and grandchildren and family and friends! HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!

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