For many years now, there have been verses/passages of scripture that I have purposely read on Thanksgiving Day. One of those passages is Psalm 103, which begins with a very personal exhortation ~
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…”
If you are familiar with Psalm 103, you know the verses that follow begin to identify many of those benefits, beginning with forgiveness, followed by healing, then redemption, and on & on they follow. It is in the spirit of remembering not to forget the blessings and the benefits He has bestowed upon me this past year that I, with a grateful heart, write this morning. As He promised they would, goodness & mercy have followed my wife Kathy & I each and every day of this past year. He has daily reminded us of His love for us, and He has piled on His blessings. The trials and the testings of this past year have been many, but His mercies – which are renewed daily – have been many more. I praise God with a grateful heart this morning that He did not send us into the “storms” we have encountered (all which came upon us suddenly and without warning) alone, but He reminded us He was with us in them – for as the scriptures have said, ‘He is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in our time of trouble or need’ and therefore, we had no reason to fret or to fear (Psalm 46). Indeed!
In this past year the Lord has reminded me to remind myself that He has promised to be a refuge for me in the storms, but not necessarily from the storms. He who knows best knows that “storms” are necessary to mold our lives, strengthen our faith and shape our characters – and for that, I am likewise thankful.
As I was “musing” over all of the happenings of this past year, a song crept into my heart and the familiar words of Psalm 95 filled my thoughts. I share it with you here that it might exhort you as it has me. Read on ~ “
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” (Psalm 95:1-7)
I conclude with something I read this earlier this morning from “Streams in The Desert 2” ~ “Thanksgiving Day is a sacred day for retrospective – a day for taking spiritual inventory. It is a day for family reunions, fellowship with old friends and neighbors, of sharing our bounties with those less favored. If throughout the past year earthborn clouds have blotted out the sunshine in your spiritual sky, may there be a rift in those clouds today so that you can see through to the land of pure delight, where saints immortal reign.” (Mrs. Cowman)
Mrs. Cowman’s thoughts reminded me of another of my favorite promises from the Word ~ “But when the complete and perfect comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away…but for now, we are looking through a two-way glass that gives only a dim and blurred reflection of our reality, but then [when that which is perfect comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part and imperfectly, but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known.” (1Cor.13:10,12 amplified)
Let me leave you with an exhortation found in a couple of verses from another of my Thanksgiving Day Psalms ~ “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so(!) those whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” (Psalm 107:1-2)
** Testify of the goodness of the Lord in your lives today. Tell someone about the Love of Jesus and what He has done for you and what He will do for any and all of them who will place their faith & trust in Him.