Happy Thanksgiving from In the Nick of Time


’Tis by Thy Strength the Mountains Stand
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

’Tis by Thy strength the mountains stand,
   God of eternal power;
The sea grows calm at Thy command,
   And tempests cease to roar.

Thy morning light and evening shade
   Successive comforts bring;
Thy plenteous fruits make harvest glad,
   Thy flowers adorn the spring.

Seasons and times, and moons and hours,
   Heav’n, earth, and air are Thine;
When clouds distill in fruitful showers,
   The Author is divine.

Those wandering cisterns in the sky,
   Borne by the winds around,
With watery treasures well supply
   The furrows of the ground.

The thirsty ridges drink their fill,
   And ranks of corn appear;
Thy ways abound with blessing still,
   Thy goodness crowns the year.

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Only One said "Thank You"

The command

God commands us to give Him thanks for everything He has done, is doing and will do for us. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (NKJV, Phil. 4:6).

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men” (1 Tim. 2:1). “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20).

The problem

But this is not the normal response of the sinful heart of man. Even in times of health and prosperity, do we genuinely thank God for what He has given us?

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Let Us Thank God!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (KJV, 1 Thess. 5:18).

In this Thanksgiving season—and throughout the year—let us thank God for Who He is, what He has said and what He has done, is doing and will yet do.

We thank God the Father for His perfect holiness and His infinite love: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). He did not simply forgive our sins. He maintained His holy character and standards by paying the essential price for our sins. “He loved…he gave!” This was not cheap grace. “He…spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). Thank You, Heavenly Father for giving Your Son for us!

We also thank God the Son for the marvelous display of His wisdom and power in creating the universe, the earth and all living things. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible” (Col. 1:16). “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Thank You, Lord Jesus, for creating us!

We also thank God’s Son for His moment-by-moment work of maintaining the universe that He created. “By him all things consist” (i.e., hold together. Col. 1:17). He “uphold(s) all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). Not only does He prevent things from sinking into non-existence, He also directs everything toward a God-honoring ultimate goal by His providence. Thus, the Father has appointed Him to be “heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (literally, the ages—i.e., mass-energy through time. Heb. 1:2). It is only because the Son of God is in charge of the universe (not Satan or chance) that “all things” can “work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28). Thank You, Lord Jesus, for preserving and guiding all things!

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