This is the time of year intended to slow us down and give us opportunity to share with one another what we are thankful for. And that “giving of thanks” really ought to be given to the One from whom all blessings come: the Lord God. But, as with any holiday, Thanksgiving can become invaded by housecleaning, hors d'oeuvres, and hosting hungry people! Instead of truly making it a day of giving thanks to God, we say a brief prayer and then proceed to fill ourselves with turkey, converse about anything but thankfulness to God, sit on the sofa feeling a bit bloated, and take a nap or watch football. At least this has been my experience in the past. It grieves my heart! Of all people, those who have found salvation in Jesus Christ should be most thankful, and here we have an opportunity to openly give thanks to God.
In my study of Isaiah, I read chapter 12 today. How very timely, just two days before Thanksgiving (as you will see). While the context refers to how the remnant of Israel will respond when God gathers them together, I was excited to see how this short chapter has great application for believers! Will you read through this seemingly lengthy blog so I can share with you what I learned from this chapter? I hope that you will be as blessed as I was, and ready to be a person of thanks-giving this week...and the rest of our lives.
“Then you will say on that day, ‘I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for although you were angry with my, Your anger is turned away, and you comfort me”’ (v. 1).
- Believers could say the same thing. The moment a person repents of sin and trusts Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, God’s anger is turned away. He moves from the position of Judge to Father (John 1:12; 3:16-18; Romans 8:15-17). What an awesome, awesome truth. Have you given thanks to God for this? Can you? Or do you need to come to Him through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ?
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation” (vv. 2-3).
- Jesus Christ is our salvation. Those who trust in Him need not be afraid! “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
- The blessings of being "in Christ" overflow (see John 7:38). Jesus is the Living Water. He satiates our deepest thirst so we will never be thirsty again, never again seek satisfaction in broken cisterns that cannot hold water (see Jeremiah 2:13).
“And in that day, you will say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted’” (v. 4).
- Believers in Jesus have so much to give thanks for! As you study the Bible, make it a point to look for things that you can give thanks to God for. If you are in Christ, the blessings abound! (If you are not familiar with the blessings of being “in Christ,” read Ephesians. Make a list of all of the things you can be thankful for.)
- We also have the privilege to call upon His name and know that He hears and answers us according to His will.
- We ought to make it known to others the “deeds” God has done: what He has done in, for, and through us. Talk about it this Thanksgiving; don’t hold back. Help them so see that His name is exalted -- lofty, esteemed, worthy of praise!
“Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel” (vv. 5-6).
- Praise Him with singing and music. Proclaim the excellent things He has done, from the creation of the world to making you a new creation in Christ. We should be so humbled and thrilled by what He has done in, through, and for us that we cannot keep quiet about it.
- And where is the Holy One dwelling today? Within believers! He is always in our midst (see Ezekiel 36:27; 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Now, what do you have to be thankful for? If I have any readers out there in cyberspace (and I hope I do!) please post a comment and share at least one thing you are thankful for. (Even if you are reading this in the spring time, I want to hear from you!)
As we enjoy our Thanksgiving meal with friends and/or family, or even quietly alone, let us all make it a point to give thanks to the one to Whom it is due.
His Blessings Abound!