Battling the elements and the challenges of living in a new land, the Pilgrims made many more graves than huts, and yet these brave pioneers thanked Almighty God by setting aside a day of Thanksgiving! This is the American spirit; the same spirit that led brave men and women to leave England in pursuit of a land where they could worship the Lord Jesus Christ without restriction.
About two hundred years later, Abraham Lincoln recognized what he believed was God’s hand of judgment on America “for our national perverseness and disobedience.” People were falling away from God, the Civil War was taking American lives and dividing the people, and Lincoln declared the first national day of fasting and repentance. In the April, 1863 proclamation, he stated:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. …We have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Great men seek the help of a much greater God in times of need. I wonder what Lincoln would say today.
In 2016, Americans seem angrier and less loving, more demanding and less patient, more entitled and less willing to work, more greedy and less grateful, more selfish and less Christian.
But God never changes and He is not surprised that we’ve fallen away from Him by choosing culture over Christ, and the creature over the Creator (Romans 1:25). We love this life a bit too much and have conformed to the world instead of being changed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We have become so busy, distracted, and stressed about things having little lasting value that we have lost our eternal perspective.
What’s the best way to regain a healthy perspective, a calm sense of hope, and a fresh thought process? Get in God’s Word.
…We have steadily abandoned the morals and principles that once made us great. Those who oppose God have assaulted the American family, threatened religious freedom, attacked Christians, rewritten our history, and have eroded the foundations of our liberty. Because of our own silence and apathy combined with these anti-Christian agendas, we are reaping the consequences as a church and nation.
What’s it going to take for America to be humbled and repent? Christians must be brought to our knees.
How do we cultivate hearts of gratitude toward God and understand how good He has been to us? Remember the Gospel. In His goodness, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself so that whoever believes Him and receives this precious gift can be forgiven of their sins. These sins once separated us from a holy, loving God, but now we’ve been brought near to Him by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)!
…Thanksgiving isn’t a time to be busy and overly distracted with planning, eating, shopping, or feeling obligated; it’s a time to lift our hands in humility to the One who holds our every breath and heartbeat. God is faithful and He promises to provide all our needs (Phil. 4:13).
It is also a time to analyze and evaluate our priorities and get right with God if we have personally strayed from Him. It is a time to encourage others to cry out to the Lord for mercy and to save America from self-destruction.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Let’s get back to the basics of faith, family, and freedom; back to loving King [Jesus] and Country. Ours is a beautiful land and we have much to be thankful for including those who have sacrificed for the freedoms we now enjoy.