Thanks to God!    

See Thanksgiving: Our Response to God's Greatness  and Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Other Thanksgiving Links


Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
 Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

In this stormy time of social transformation, no change impacts this nation more profoundly than its shifting views of God. And those views -- Christian or not --shape our beliefs, our doubts, our assumptions, our prayers, our relationships and our giving of thanks.  So to understand the meaning of Thanksgiving 2003, we might begin with two questions: Who is God? Why is He worthy of our thanks?


The Pilgrims knew the answers well. They saw God as the sovereign Creator and Master of the universe. Food, clothing, health or sickness, prosperity or poverty, life and death... everything came from Him and through Him. Nothing happened apart from His will and purpose.[1]


But such beliefs are no longer welcome in public places. The faith of our Pilgrim fathers cannot be taught in social studies. God's hand in American history has been censored. The vacuum has been filled with a diversity of multicultural deities and mystical forces complete with timeless myths and enticing magic. And the transformation didn't happen overnight.


Back in the eighties, government schools were already trading truths for myths. Popular history texts told children that the Pilgrims gave their thanks to the Indians, not to God. When a mother shared her concern and tried to explain the Pilgrims' gratefulness to God on that first Thanksgiving feast, the principal argued that her position "was just opinion and not documented fact.... They could only teach what was contained in the history books."[2] 

By November 1990 - soon after the environmental movement swept into the American consciousness - educational change agents had picked another alternative to God. Scholastic (Harry Potter's publisher) News circulated the following Thanksgiving message to about half of all our nation’s elementary schools:


"The first Thanksgiving feasts were harvest festivals. People gathered to celebrate successful harvests and to thank the Earth for its fruits." (emphasis added)


Now, twelve years later, the distortions and deceptions have multiplied, permeating our culture. Try asking a stranger, Who is God? Chances are, the answer will fit the all-pervasive global theme: "unity in diversity." For example,

  • God is an impersonal pantheistic force flowing through all forms of life and making all things one.

  • He is a permissive Santa Claus-like deity who answers the prayers of all people when they are "good" or pray the "right" way.

  • She is a non-judgmental feminine force or personified angelic presence which can be activated through mind-altering rituals and pagan worship.

  • God is a feel-good blend of all the various religious paths: the universalism of Baha'i, the mysticism of Hinduism, the chakras and five-fold path of Buddhism, along with some pleasing promises from the Bible and a non-judgmental image of a loving Jesus.  

The last option best illustrates our changing world.  It epitomizes synthesis, solidarity and consensus. It grinds away at the edges of separatism, non-conformity and Christianity. And its dedicated disciples are far more acceptable to our global managers than those who walk the "narrow way" with Jesus. Small wonder today's postmodern crowds are trading the God of the Bible for the "feel-good" gods of the imagination.


To speed this paradigm shift, educational change agents are pressing institutions into line. For example, Harvard University has created a Committee on Healthy Diversity. It will guide political correctness and propose new restrictions on speech and religious freedom.[3] Meanwhile, the USA, like Canada comes ever closer to legislating what Biblical truths pastors may or may not teach their congregations.[4]


To the world around us, God's Word is simply too offensive. So are some of His most basic and wonderful attributes -- even as they fill our own hearts with thanks:


1. He is the sovereign King of the universe, the almighty Creator and Sustainer of all things. Therefore we give Him thanks for family, health, home, rain and sunshine, beautiful fall leaves.... everything He has given us for our daily walk with Him and our participation in His purposes.


2. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Righteousness and our Fountain of Life. Therefore, I thank Him for opening my eyes to my own sinful nature and my need for His mercy and forgiveness. And we thank Him together for His resurrection life and for His promised victory over evil, temptation, sin and death by the power of His Spirit -- now and forever. 


3. He is our Strength, our Keeper, our Shepherd and our Peace. We thank Him for reconciling us to Himself, bringing us into the shelter of His presence, filling us with a "peace that passeth understanding" [Phil. 4:7] and leading us in His triumph wherever He sends us.


4. He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider, our Friend and our Confidence. We thank Him for meeting all our needs, satisfying our deepest longings and giving us the faith to count on His promises and believe what He has shown us about Himself and His wonderful ways.

5. He is the living Word, the eternal and triumphant Truth -- our Shepherd and Guide on the journey He has mapped out for each of us. We thank Him for the truths He has planted in our hearts, for they enable us to discern deceptions and walk in His victory no matter how fierce the battle.


"Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend!" Song of Solomon 5:16


Those who would re-imagine God -- trading our holy and majestic Lord for a more compliant human imitation -- would be wise to consider these warnings.

"...although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21

"...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God.... you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ ... If you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish." Deuteronomy 8:10-20

In Old Testament days, God would withdraw His loving care and protection from Israel when the people rejected His truths and "walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart." (Jeremiah 7:24) Left to their own meager resources, they often faced drought, famine, wars and disease -- all of which will increase in end times.


Let's not forget that we, as a nation, will face the same consequences if and when we turn away from Him. (See 1 Cor 10:1-13)


If that happens, which well it might, the Shepherd will be our shelter in the storm. He is our fortress and deliverer; our strength, in whom we can trust!  "In the world you will have tribulation;" He tells us, "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Therefore,

" everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heavenly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!

To hear the melody, click on

Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations

George Washington | Abraham Lincoln | George W. Bush


Other links:  Pilgrims | Chronology



1. See Thanksgiving links

2. Paul Vitz, Censorship -- Evidence of Bias in Our Children's Textbooks (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986), page 3, 19.

3. Jennifer Peter, Harvard Mulls Offensive Speech Ban,, November 21, 2002.

4. 'Pro-Gay Bill' to Spark Church Suits, November 22, 2012,


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