Through Him let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips that continually give thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 of that year as a National Day of Thanksgiving to recognize the role of providence in creating the new United States and the new federal constitution. Apparently, Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated in a national holiday yearly until many years later. In 1815 James Madison declared a day of prayer and thanksgiving but that was only a one-time celebration. In 1827 Sara Josefa Hale wrote an essay for the Boston Ladies Magazine calling for a yearly National Day of Thanksgiving. In September of 1863 she wrote President Lincoln asking him to declare a National Day of Thanksgiving and what was perhaps the darkest hour in this nation’s history that Abraham Lincoln did proclaim a national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated in November of each year and we continue to do so to this day. That we have a day that as a nation which is set aside for the purpose of giving thanks says a lot about the sense of dependence on God that permeated the culture of this nation throughout its history…a sense of dependence that it seems is being rapidly lost. The Bible teaches us to “give thanks in all things” and I believe that we should a people who are grateful.
The people of God ought to be thankful for the providence of God which placed us in this land where we are provided an abundant supply of our earthly needs and wants, relative safety and security, and freedom which allows us to make free choices in almost every area of life. Even more, the providence of God caused us to be born in a land where the good news of Christ is freely proclaimed, and the faith is freely practiced. We can both worship and make our faith known. While the dark clouds we see economically, politically and in world turmoil tend to shade our hearts, we above all people need to live with a deep sense of gratitude.
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