Thanksgiving - 2019
By Hal Lindsey
In America, it’s the season of Thanksgiving. And there is much to be thankful for. We are blessed spiritually, materially, and economically. We can still speak our minds, worship as we see fit, gather together in a cause, and vote. Our liberties have been infringed on, but not exhausted. We have a great military and amazing first responders. With their help, we live in a time of peace and security.
God has been gracious to this country.
The Mayflower was a small ship — just under 100 feet from the bow to the tip of her stern. At her widest point, she measured about 25 feet. In September of 1620, she carried 102 passengers and a crew of 30 from England to America. The journey took more than two months. During the winter that followed, half of the passengers and crew died.
In the fall of 1621, they celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving. Edward Winslow wrote to a friend in England. “And God be praised, we had a good increase. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling so we might after a special manner rejoice together…. These things I thought good to let you understand… that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favorably with us.”
Men sent “fowling” means their celebratory meal almost certainly included turkey. But what I find amazing is that, after so much pain, hardship and sorrow, they remained full of thankfulness. “God be praised,” he wrote. And, “give God thanks who hath dealt so favorably with us.”
With all their deprivations, and with all our comforts, are we as thankful today as they were then?
They had one great advantage over us. They were morally fit and strong, and Americans today tend toward moral flabbiness. We need to understand that their moral fitness led to our material prosperity. While our moral flabbiness will, unless we repent, lead to hardship.
We already see cracks in America’s greatness. Extreme partisan rancor continues in Washington and has spilled over into much of the country. It has touched families, workplaces, schools, and even churches.
Israel remains America’s greatest ally in the Middle East. And that nation is going through a time of severe testing. Israel faces unprecedented challenges from Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Hamas, Turkey, and Russia. Just when they need strong leadership the most, they are in the midst of a major leadership crisis. They have already held two elections this year and neither led to the formation of a government. It now looks like a third election may be necessary.
Complicating all of this, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now officially under indictment. We knew it was coming. In fact, it is a major reason Netanyahu has been unable to put together a governing coalition. Yet, in all these trials, Israel will be preserved. It won’t be by politics or missiles, but by the hand of God.
God cares for you, too. No matter what you’re facing this Thanksgiving, you can face it with Jesus at your side. And so, you can face it with thankfulness and joy.
Philippians 4:6-7 stands as one of the Bible’s great thanksgiving passages. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”