In the United States, we celebrate a holiday known as Thanksgiving. It’s a day set aside originally to commemorate the thankfulness felt by the Pilgrims who first came to our shores. They had braved the elements and survived a harsh winter thanks to the help of the Native Americans. Little did they know that their first settlement would be the ancestor of the beautiful nation we know today. All they knew was that God deserved thanks for getting them through.

          God’s fingerprints continued to be all over the development of the U.S.A., right down to the underlying purpose of its reason for existence and pronouncement of its freedom mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:

  • When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
  • We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America… appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world… do… solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States… And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

         God still deserves thanks; after all. Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV) reminds us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

          Still sometimes, problems overwhelm us to the point that we just don’t feel like being very grateful to God. In fact, we feel like hypocrites saying the word “thanks” when everything is upside-down in our lives. At times like these, although it’s hard, we must remember that God has not changed. He’s still the good, ever-loving, and faithful God He’s always been. Our situation may have changed, but God has not. In hours of despair, thanksgiving is a choice and the gateway to our deliverance. The psalmist determined what we must resolve as well, “I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD” Psalm 116:17 (NIV). A sacrifice requires a slaughter. To “sacrifice a thank offering” means we must kill our negative feelings about our circumstances and about God, and come to Him giving thanks anyway. 

          Paul lets us know how to approach God and what He will do when we draw near to Him with thankfulness. He writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).

         Wherever you are in the world, it may not be the American holiday, but it’s certainly another day in which to give God thanks, so Happy Thanksgiving!


©2012 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at Also, periodically check in at to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!


~ by sanewriter on November 22, 2012.

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