Later this week, most of us here in the U.S. will gather with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. While the world’s view of the holiday is bound up in food, football, and Black Friday savings, believers ought to know better. Certainly we can enjoy those aspects of the day as well, but not at the cost of cultivating a heart of true gratitude for the Lord’s abundant blessings in our lives.
On this day in particular, we must not ignore the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As we have previously written in this space, the holiday is essentially an extended gospel opportunity.
Frankly, nothing pleases Satan more than the way the world celebrates Thanksgiving: a perfunctory word of thanks to a mysterious, unknown god, followed by a festival of gluttony, mindless entertainment, and self-indulgence.
That’s particularly tragic when you consider that Thanksgiving Day is one of the rare holidays—along with Christmas and Easter—when the unsaved world at least pays lip service to God’s existence. Many people will go through the motions of offering thanks to their deity of choice—some might even mean it. And in an increasingly godless culture, we cannot waste the rare opportunities when unsaved friends and family may be open to hearing the truth about God and His Word.
As God’s people, we should be leaping at the chance to recount His goodness and faithfulness to us this Thanksgiving.
We want to encourage you to prayerfully consider what you have to be thankful for this year. And to stimulate those thoughts, we recently asked John MacArthur to tell us what he is most thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches.