Posted January 22, 2018
But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—1 Cor. 15:57
By God's grace we will, not merely on Thanksgiving Day, thank him for that blessed salvation, which Christ earned for us. By all means we must do that on Thanksgiving Day. But our calling is to do so every day. Every day we must fight the sinfulness of our flesh, and the boasting of what we are and did. That victory for which we thank God is not a victory which we realized. We must thank God because he giveth us that victory. As we read in 1 Cor. 15:50, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." No, thanking God for giving us this victory is thankfully praising God for what he did in his grace. Take a strong hold of that truth: We thank God because he giveth us the victory through his Son, who is our Lord Jesus Christ.
Salvation is, from beginning to end, and as far as every detail of it is concerned, God's gift to us. Therefore we are here called to thank God, and not boast of what we did. We enjoy that victory; but if we do this correctly, we attribute every bit of that victory to our God, as the song quoted a moment ago presents that truth: "All that I am I owe to Thee."
Hold on tightly then to the truth which our God presents to us through Paul. Call every bit of your salvation the gift of God's grace; and thank him for the victory which he realized for his elect.
If we do that sincerely, we reveal that we have been given victory by our God, through his Son. Praise God then from whom all blessings flow.
This excerpt was taken from a meditation written by Rev. John Heys printed in the 1995 issue of the Standard Bearer. Read the full article here: http://ow.ly/OFwe30gL7SZ.
Thanksgiving does, indeed, imply joy and gladness of heart, but not in the abundance of earthly things, but in God who is really GOD, the Lord of all, who reigneth in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, who doeth all things well; who is, moreover, the God of our salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, who forgiveth all our iniquities, who healeth all our diseases, and from whose fatherly hand we receive all things, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, health and sickness, joy and sorrow, life and death, and who causes all things to work for our salvation.
To give thanks means, to be sure, that we point to blessings received, and that we count them one by one, but not so that we exclude from these benefits anything that we received from the hand of our heavenly Father in this valley of death, so that we speak of “many things to be thankful for” while we know not what to do with those experiences that were contrary to our earthly desires; but so that we consider all things, by faith, and in the light of His promise, as gifts of His grace, for the which He is to be praised and adored.
It means that we praise Him and glorify His holy name because of the abundance of His mercy over us, but again, not in the vain imagination that by doing so we add anything to His glory, and oblige Him to us, but in the deep sense that even our thanksgiving and praise is a gift of grace, an unspeakably great privilege which He bestows upon us, and for the which we owe Him thanks.
And thus it implies that we deeply humble ourselves before Him, who is God, the Lord, and acknowledge that we are wholly unworthy of all His benefits.
To acknowledge Him as God alone, and to prostrate ourselves in adoration before His throne,—that is thanksgiving.
All of Him, none of self!
This excerpt was taken from a meditation written by Herman Hoeksema in 1946. Read the full article at the Standard Bearer Archives: http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/articles/all-him.