“Have You Forgotten to be Thankful?”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
The story is told about a 19th century preacher who had just concluded his sermon, and was then talking to folks in front of the platform. His eyes caught the sight of a wealthy socialite who was standing nearby with her arms crossed. She obviously was upset. And so, the preacher quietly approached her and asked if he could pray for her. She declined.
“Ma’am”, he said, “You are clearly in need of prayer. Why not tell me how I can do so? Are you a Christian?”
“Of course, I’m a Christian”, she shot back at him, “In fact, my favorite Bible verse is John 3:16!” Then she proceeded to recite from her memory, and said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only FORGOTTEN Son….” Wow. How many see her problem right there?
This week, our nation will celebrate the Day of Thanksgiving. However, I ask you, what is the ultimate source of our being thankful? It is to REMEMBER the many blessings and benefits that come from almighty God. You see, in past celebrations that took place–be it the Pilgrims, the proclamations of George Washington (1789) and Abraham Lincoln (1863), and lastly, when it was codified in 1870 by the U.S. Congress—all those who participated invoked the God of the Bible as the source to be thankful towards. But, sadly, we’ve drifted from that fundamental understanding. And it’s killing our nation!
Both the Apostle Paul and Jesus Christ Himself warned that there would come a time when thanklessness would arise on a worldwide level. But how could that ever occur? It’s just like that funny (but true) story at the beginning of this article. People have FORGOTTEN about God and His Son Jesus Christ.
You see, if people think that they themselves are the ultimate source of everything they have or are, then they will forget God completely. Why shouldn’t they? To them, they’ve been taught that the God of the Bible is just a fairy tale. And so, is anybody really thankful to the point of worshiping a character from a fairy tale? Probably not.
Now, here’s my point. It is our national recognition of God’s providence that makes Thanksgiving Day a unique holiday. Take away God, and you take away the very reason behind the holiday itself. But that already has happened. Unfortunately, for most Americans, the holiday has been hijacked by food, family, and football. And, while there’s nothing wrong with those three “F”s, it has produced a national forgetfulness: the fourth “F”. Tragically, that forgetfulness has led this nation into an economic, social, and moral collapsing before our very eyes!
Nevertheless, when individual people surrender to God through Jesus Christ, then an internal miracle occurs. That is, thankfulness is born within them. And, collectively, that’s what our nation so desperately needs! Please take to heart my words today. Our nation’s healing depends upon thanksgiving to God!