A Thanksgiving Message to America
In a world of ingratitude, Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks for blessings. What should Americans be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate their national holiday of Thanksgiving. Lost in other major anniversaries of 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the standardizing of the observance of Thanksgiving.
On Oct. 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation (written by Secretary of State William Seward) “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Some of the specific blessings that President Lincoln cited as evidence of God’s blessings on the United States were:
- Fruitful agriculture.
- Peace with foreign nations.
- Domestic peace (within the Union States at that time).
- Mineral resources.
- Increase in population.
It is proper for Americans to ponder—150 years later—what specifically we can and should be thankful for as a nation today. The United States still stands as the most powerful single nation in the world and enjoys a standard of living much higher than that of most other nations.
What else should Americans give thanks for this Thanksgiving?
Three things Americans should be thankful for
1. Safety from foreign attacks and wars.
Since the end of the War of 1812, the United States has been free from foreign attack, with the notable exceptions of Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Americans should never take this blessing for granted. When one reads about the conditions in Syria, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, the Congo or the Sudan, it becomes obvious how blessed Americans are to live in a nation that is free of the fear and suffering that war brings to a populace. The Bible teaches that domestic peace—dwelling “in your land safely” (Leviticus 26:5)—is a blessing that God gives a nation.
2. Improvement in the U.S. economy.
Just five years ago, the U.S. and world economy were on the verge of total collapse. The Subprime Mortgage Crisis, the failure of financial institutions like Lehman Brothers, the TARP program, etc. all took the world by surprise and brought the American economy dangerously close to a second Great Depression.
Though the U.S. economy has not returned to the strength it enjoyed in the 1990s and early 2000s, it has emerged from the crisis of 2008. The unemployment rate has decreased to 7.3 percent (August 2013 statistics) after hovering in the 8- to10-percent range from 2009 to 2012. Recently U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew stated: “The United States is recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression and we’re leading the developed world in the quality of our recovery.”
Though the U.S. economy has not completely collapsed (as some have predicted), it is still shaky; and the continual political turmoil over the debt ceiling, government spending and health care keep the economy on edge.
3. Continued plentiful food supply.
As Americans gather on Thanksgiving to eat the traditional turkey meal, they should remember the blessing of abundance that makes the meal possible. Americans should understand that the abundance of food they have is not enjoyed by many who live throughout the rest of the world.
Here are a few areas of the world currently experiencing food shortages:
- Zimbabwe is experiencing a food shortage that has some of its citizens (reportedly) competing with animals for wild fruits. The UN World Food Program warns that almost 2.2 million Zimbabweans could starve if conditions do not improve.
- Syria, still divided by a seemingly endless civil war, is experiencing a food crisis. Almost half of Syria’s population has been displaced by the conflict and experiences food shortages.
- Parts of the Philippines recovering from Typhoon Haiyan still lack adequate food and water. Many are forced to drink dirty water to survive as they wait for aid to arrive.
These are just three examples. Many areas around the globe are experiencing these kinds of conditions. Americans should be thankful they can still go to the grocery store and buy reasonably priced food in abundance whenever desired. It is not a blessing to be taken for granted.
As regular readers of Life, Hope & Truth know, this website places a great emphasis on the principle of cause and effect. We regularly warn our readers that the effect of personal and national sins will bring serious negative consequences.
The sad reality is that Americans are losing their moral foundation and forgetting that their blessings have come as a result of the graciousness of God. If America continues to flagrantly disregard the laws of God and invent its own definitions of morality, it will lose the blessings it has been given.
While America still enjoys these great physical blessings, it would do well to acknowledge and give thanks to God for providing these blessings.
This Thanksgiving provides an excellent opportunity to genuinely give thanks to God for the blessings He has given (and continues to give) this nation—and to determine to be dedicated to a “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
To learn more about the source of America’s blessings, read “Where Is America in Prophecy?”