Ephesians 5:20 - In All Things Be Thankful
during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast, all
graduates of the Boston School of Theology, gathered to discuss how they should
conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services. Things were about as bad as they
could get, with no sign of relief. The bread lines were depressingly long, the
stock market had plummeted, and the term Great Depression seemed an apt
description for the mood of the country. The ministers thought they should only
lightly touch upon the subject Thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all
about them. After all, there was to be thankful for. But it was Dr. William L.
Stiger, pastor of a large congregation in the city that rallied the group. This
was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving,
just the opposite. This was the time for the nation to get matters in
perspective and thank God for blessings always present, but perhaps suppressed
due to intense hardship.
suggest to you the ministers struck upon something. The most intense moments of
thankfulness are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound.
Think of the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. Half their number dead, men
without a country, but still there was thanksgiving to God. Their gratitude was
not for something but in something. It was that same sense of gratitude that
lead Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the
midst of national civil war, when the butcher’s list of casualties seemed to
have no end and the very nation struggled for survival.
in your own life, right now, intense hardship. You are experiencing your own
personal Great Depression. Why should you be thankful this day? May I suggest
We must learn to be thankful or we become bitter.
We must learn to be thankful or we will become discouraged.
3. We must learn to be thankful or we will grow arrogant and self-satisfied.
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