“Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
Revelation 7:12

We have a wonderful day set aside called “thanksgiving” for the many blessings received from God, and indeed it should be so. The world comes together and is satisfied with material blessings, but God’s people are thankful for them as from the hand of their Father in heaven. The hymn, “Count Your Blessings One By One,” describes the abundance of them. But why are we so blessed while so many live in poverty? Asaph in Psalm 73 was envious at the foolish when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. Yes! We must be thankful for our blessings, but are they deserved? No! We are to give thanks for all things because, God who is the Giver is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving, as commanded in Psalm 150.
To have been at the cross and hear the accusations hurled at Jesus shows us what our hearts are full of. Instead of being thankful, hate and unthankfulness is heard. “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth” (Matthew 27:42-44). This was after they heard the prayer of Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34b). This is man by nature! But listen! Christ’s prayer is answered as the Spirit of Christ opens the heart of the one thief, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42b). He asks for a thought, he dare not expect more, but Oh Jesus’ rich answer comes, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43b). He (the thief) is still on the cross, he is still suffering pain, but he says no more. The saved thief by his silence is full of true thankfulness. The world is not his home, but as Paul could say, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). This can only be learned by the working of the Holy Spirit, who takes our unthankful hearts and reveals the love of God in Jesus Christ. God’s unspeakable gift of salvation makes His people rejoice with thanksgiving. The world does not understand, it is foolishness they say, but at death all their physical blessing will be gone. They will hear, “You had your good things on earth, but His people though they may have had few earthly blessing are now experiencing true blessed forever.”

Psalter 108:1,2,5
I waited for the Lord my God, yea, patiently drew near,
And He at length inclined to me, my pleading cry to hear.

He took me from destruction’s pit, from out the miry clay;
He set my feet upon a rock, and steadfast made my way.

O truly blessed is the man that on the Lord relies,
Respecting not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Written by: Cornelius VanKempen
November 23, 2016