Thursday, November 23, 2023

Give God Thanks for His Protection

Thursday this week is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a day dedicated to giving thanks to God for His blessings.

The tradition started in a right spirit of gratitude towards God, but as the nation falls away from respect towards God and the Bible (even though our people never really understood much of the Bible or obeyed it, they had a nominal respect), Thanksgiving has degenerated with many people into nothing more than an opportunity for time off from work, feasting, family get-togethers, and football.

God does not command observance of this day, so for members of the Church of God, it is optional.  But if we choose to observe it, we should keep it in a right spirit, not as many in the world keep it, but in a spirit of gratitude towards God.

But even though God does not command the observance of Thanksgiving Day, He does command the giving of thanks and praise to Him, and for some of us Thanksgiving Day is a good opportunity to focus on this.  But we should thank and praise God throughout the year.

We have much to be thankful for.

Many of us (not all) have family, friends, jobs, income, health, and Church of God fellowship, and those who have those blessings can thank God for them.  We in the United States can be thankful for the freedom, safety, and prosperity we enjoy.  Though those things are declining, the United States is still one of the richest, most powerful, and freest nations in the world.  We can be thankful for an open door for preaching the gospel and the Ezekiel warning to Israel, though that door is not open very wide right now.

We can give thanks for the truth God has revealed to us through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, Mr. Armstrong, and the Church.  We can thank God for calling us as part of the first fruits, which is a rare blessing among the people of the earth.  We can thank God for the awesome salvation He offers us, to become like Christ and enjoy eternal life with the Father and Christ in happiness, joy, and glory.  God is reproducing Himself in man, which is something to be exceedingly grateful for.

We can thank God for the Holy Spirit, the Church, and the Bible.

Above all, we should give God thanks for Jesus Christ and the love the Father shows to us in the Church and to all mankind in Christ.  And we can thank Christ for His sacrifice, the suffering He endured, and for all His saving work, past, present, and future.

We can give God thanks for his wisdom, power, righteousness, and fairness in providing for an opportunity for salvation to every human that has ever lived regardless of circumstances of time and place.

Some people in the Church seem burdened with trials, and it can be a temptation for some to not feel thankful for their present circumstances.  Others, in spite of severe trials and lack of physical blessings in this life, have the spiritual maturity to even give thanks for their trials, knowing that God uses trials to teach us, test us, and develop character in us for our own good.

There is one blessing that everyone who knows God's truth can give thanks for, and that is God's protection from Satan.

Satan is the enemy of God, God's truth, and the Church.  He wants to destroy us and wipe out any trace of God's truth on the earth.  But God does not allow that.

The first part of the book of Job shows Satan's power and God's power to restrain him.  Satan has tremendous power, but God's power is greater, and Satan can only do what God allows him to do.

If God did not restrain him, I have no doubt Satan would destroy every last one of us very quickly.  The fact that we exist is evidence of God's loving protection.

No matter what our trials in this life, we have that evidence of God's love, and we can give thanks for it.

For those of you who observe Thanksgiving Day, have an inspiring and spiritual Thanksgiving.