Leah F.Once I overcome all the pain, all the hardships and troubles of life, what is there left but abounding joy that He is the God of my life?
He is the One Who brought Israel forth from Egypt, and He is the One Who long suffered for them; He is the One Who gave them the land they sought, and it was He Who assured it was bountiful for them; He is the One Who defeated their foes, and it was He Who blessed them again and again; He is the One Who, Himself, descended and walked among us as a man. He took on flesh to bare, bury our sins and to break the curse by taking it on Himself. He purchased us with His blood, that we might be redeemed and restored. He has given us His Spirit, as a helper and perfecter.
How can I not be thankful for that; how can I not find joy in that, if He is the Lord of my life?
That is the spirit of thanksgiving - joy and adoration. The highest mountain, the lowest cavern, the widest ocean is His workmanship, and even I am a creation of His own hand! How merciful and loving is our Lord that we continue to draw breath into our lungs! How great and marvelous is He that each day I awake, living and able, to admire His wondrous creation! What beauty He hath wrought! His mighty works surround me. How humbled I am at the thought of Him.
The following is George Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation, which began the American tradition of a yearly day of fasting and prayer, that we might turn our sights toward God and His great faithfulness. Truly, He has never wavered in His undying goodness and love.
[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
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 thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Let it never be, Lord, that I leave or forsake You, for I need you every hour.
A very happy and joyous thanksgiving to you all.