The Power of Giving Thanks
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
The consequences of not honoring and thanking our Maker are frightening. As the passage in Romans 1 goes on to enumerate, thanklessness led to all manner of damaging wickedness resulting in degradation and death. Notice that giving thanks to God is a special part of avoiding those consequences!
This is why I so value the Thanksgiving Holiday we have here in the USA! It is truly a great heritage for Americans, helping to keep us grounded in what should be foremost in life. Perhaps this is one reason why America is not yet as secular and post-Christian as Europe.
We live in an era of atheist “revival”. It seems like the Internet provides a way for the humanist and atheist communities to encourage each other, to organize and to become more militant. And through evolution they are being fed the lie that atheism is intelligent – when it obviously is not! “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’.” (Psalm 14:1, 53:1)
In fact, the Bible explains – right before it goes into the consequences of not honoring and thanking the Lord – how obvious the existence of God is through His creation.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
The sin-nature of mankind makes us a natural rebel against God. We naturally do not want to submit to His rule and authority. This is why many folks deny the obvious implications of the evidence of creation. And this is why the habit of giving thanks to God is so important.
Thanking God takes the focus off of our own sinful selves and puts it on the One to whom we can ultimately be thankful. After all, He is at the root of the good that comes our way – whether it be through our inherited abilities and talents, our friendships and family, our training, our work ethic or the fortunate circumstances of our lives.
When we don’t feel like we have much to be thankful for, we should reflect for a moment and realize that the very creation itself is worth thanking Him for! It is really the simple, little things we often take for granted that make life worth living. At our house, and I’m sure at many of yours as well, we sing a little table blessing called “Johnny Appleseed”, which goes, “Oh the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the apple-seed, the Lord is good to me. Amen.”
Interesting, isn’t it, how the life-testimony of a simple man – Johnny Appleseed – lives on as a reminder of what is truly important in life: a heart of thankfulness, an appreciation for God’s creation, a willingness to give to others and a willingness to share the truth of God with others. Here was a man who walked all over the American frontier planting apple trees to the benefit of other people, carrying his Bible and a sack of apple seeds, bringing good cheer and the Good News to the settlers, earning their goodwill and a good reputation.
Thanksgiving is such a great start to the Holiday Season. And it has a wonderful foundation in scriptural truth, releasing real power for the Christian life. You want to know God’s will for you? Consider this: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Failing to be thankful to God lets our natural depravity take us down a road of futility, foolishness and spiritual darkness. Thanking the Lord as we rightly should gives us the proper perspective – and leads to purpose, wisdom and deliverance!
Jonah, after disobeying God by trying to go many miles in the opposite direction of where he should have gone, was tossed into a raging sea. He finally realized that the “great fish” which had swallowed him as he sank beneath the waves actually preserved his life. And he prayed from within this unique “prayer closet”, offering “the voice of thanksgiving” for deliverance from drowning! Whereupon, the Bible says, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry [land].” (Jonah 2:10)
In this era of secular and atheistic ascendancy, girded as it is by evolutionism, we can know that we still have many things to be thankful for. Like Jonah, we can find the good in a situation and recognize God’s life lessons, being thankful for His great mercies and repenting of our disobedience. And like Johnny Appleseed, we can learn to be content with the simple blessings of life offered us by our great Creator, finding ways to be a blessing to others!
Please join me as we enter this Holiday Season in thanking God for all our many blessings and in praying for revival of earnest Christian faith and fidelity to God’s Word. The work we do at Creation Moments is vital in helping to break down the stronghold that evolution has in our society, and to show that Scripture can be trusted throughout.
At Creation Moments we are thankful for you, our partners and supporters. We are thankful for your prayers and your donations that enable us to continue the work we’re doing to bring non-Christians to Christ and to help Christians get a greater understanding of Christ, our Creator! And at this season we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!