“The world can be pretty messed up. But this year, God is just as faithful as he has ever been. Be thankful for that, if nothing else.”
It’s easy to be discouraged about the state of the world right now, isn’t it? The world is messy and broken. Sin runs rampant, terror is too real and evil has a foothold. Being discouraged is understandable these days.
But, as followers of Jesus, we have so much for which to be thankful. God sent his Son so that, though the world is broken and hurting, it won’t always be that way. We have an untouchable source of hope, a hope that reminds us our that life on this earth isn’t the end—it’s the beginning.
Today, in the United States and in a few other places around the world, we celebrate the annual holiday of Thanksgiving. We gather with family and friends to remember what we’re thankful for. Sure, life can be tough, and the world can be pretty messed up. But this year, God is just as faithful as he has ever been. Be thankful for that, if nothing else.
At the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims possibly prayed a prayer like this one from The Valley of Vision:
O My God, Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigor, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness, for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures. Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham distinguished chair of church, mission and evangelism at Wheaton College and the Wheaton Grad School, where he also oversees the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.