Has everything gone your way in 2017?
No anxiousness over family? Your finances? Your health? No conflict in your church or amongst friends? No concerns about what your grandchildren and children are taught in school; whether our nation’s future affords them the same blessings as it did to you or if they will be able to live out their faith in an increasingly hostile culture?
In the midst of trials, do we find it natural to stop and give thanks?
Our founders chose to do so. The first Pilgrims fled persecution and ventured out for the new world in search of religious freedom with 102 faithful in all… 53 survived the cross-Atlantic voyage and the following bitter winter to give their first thanks in their new land. Their survival was only made possible by the help of Native Americans—one in particular, named Squanto, who was captured and enslaved by the English years earlier, spent time in Europe and learned English.
Squanto, whose original tribe perished while he was in captivity, just happened to return to Plymouth in time to mediate between Native Americans and the new arrivals. This is all purely coincidental as modern historians would have us believe. Believers know better.
In the midst of hardship, the Pilgrims—with their new friends—chose to give thanks through their trials for their blessings.
It wasn’t until 1863 (240 plus years later), that President Abraham Lincoln officially instituted Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the middle of the Civil War, in hopes of bringing some unity to a bitterly divided nation.
Do we see any division and hardship in our nation today? Of course, we do.
Perhaps our best response, as the family of believers, is to lead our nation this year and beyond in Thanksgiving, just as the Pilgrims did, to our Creator and our God for His continual blessings despite any temporal challenges, knowing with certainty our future is secure.
May His promise found in Scripture give us peace and comfort: Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).
Thank you for standing with Family Policy Alliance throughout 2017 and into 2018. Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and to the One truly deserving of thanks.
President & CEO