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The Thessalonian Thanksgiving

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God…” —George Washington, 1789

Life is busy. It is and always has been. I know we look back at life 200 years ago as if it were more simple and less demanding, but imagine trying to put together a new country from the ashes of war. The effort probably required some overtime for George and the Continental Congress, don’t you think? Yet, in the middle of the mess, they knew it was time for a day of rest and remembrance, a day to refocus and give credit where credit was due.

Likewise, our days are busy and complicated. There’s no doubt about that. Some of us spend lots of time and energy trying to figure out what the will of God is for our future (as I’m sure the Founding Fathers did for their country). But when Paul closed his first letter to the Thessalonians, he simplified God’s will for us considerably:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Is it possible that in trying to figure out His perfect plan for the future, we miss His will for us right now?! Joy. Prayer. Thanksgiving. God’s will is that we enjoy Him, talk with Him, and appreciate Him moment by moment.

God of All, I praise You that in Your presence is fullness of joy, that the lines of communication between us are always open. Right here, right now, I give You thanks for all! By faith, I trust You in every circumstance in my life with sincere gratitude. Amen.

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