Throughout the month of November I want to deliver a few blog post messages on the theme of the Four Pillars of Thanksgiving. One of the most lacking abilities in our culture is to be thankful for the things around us. So without further ado, we start at the beginning.
Our lives are surrounded by so much fear, anxiety, and anger. We are entering one of my most favorite seasons where people at least try to be more thankful. But if people are full of fear, anxiety, and anger, thankfulness has got to be one of the furthest things from their minds.
This trifecta cannot be the basis for Thanksgiving. Instead, we must turn to three other foundations if we are going to be thankful for anything that happens in life. All three of these kindnesses of God are necessary to create a thankful disposition. They all center around knowing God’s goodness.
Everyone is always concerned about their needs and wants. Unfortunately, most of us start life from a very selfish place. At least when we are babies and even young children we can’t really help it. We need someone else’s help, a parent who can take care of us. We can’t do it on our own.
Did you ever stop and realize that we never really grow out of this? Jesus addressed the same issue of our needs and wants when he addressed anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:31-33). Jesus reminded us that God knows our needs and he takes care of us.
God’s provision should cause us to never be anxious about anything again. We may not feel that he is taking care of every need, especially when we are obviously in want. But I can tell you from personal experience that God walks beside us every step of the way and he has a purpose and all of it.
Perhaps you are in need of finances or health or food or even shelter. Perhaps you are in need of a job. God always provides in his perfect timing. And this isn’t coming from some pie-in-the-sky preacher. It’s coming from a quadriplegic that God has taken care of every step of this journey. And when he’s finished with my complete healing, you’ll hear about that too.
Next, we might wonder about God’s protection. Sure he provides but what if we believe we are in danger? Throughout the Psalms, David affirms that God is his rock, his shield, fortress, is refuge, and that he is safe under the shadow of God’s wings.
God protects us from all sorts of harm from physical to spiritual. We should never be afraid when he is with us. David said that even in the valley of the shadow of death he wasn’t afraid (Psalm 23:4). As we trust in God we need not fear anything. He already sees the end from the beginning.
Finally, we can be assured of God’s providence. The Lord orders the steps of the righteous (Proverbs 19:21). The Holy Spirit guides and directs our path. We don’t have to worry about the future because the Lord already planned our destiny.
What is left to worry about when the Lord provides all we need, protects us from all danger, and we walk in his providence? Our trust in him as provider, protector, and planner of our lives is the foundation for thanksgiving. Leave a comment and let me know what you think about God in these ways.