BEING THANKFUL EVERYDAY-ALL YEAR ROUND
On this one day of the year that we call Thanksgiving, society enjoins us to be thankful for physical and fiscal things—no one mentions the spiritual anymore. No one mentions the divine gifts our Creator has given us. The world-system wants us to be thankful for what we have today—without remembering the hardships, persecutions, and horrors our ancestors went through in the past.
I don't particularly like having one day set aside to be thankful, because it's as if we can go about the rest of the year taking everything we have for granted. But nevertheless, it's a great time for us to get together and enjoy our friends and relations. For perhaps we can provide them with a tad of cheer, or help build their faith a bit. Either way it's an opportunity for faithful believers to help others—mentally and spiritually.
The Scriptures enjoin us to be thankful during every prayer and at all times—but always for spiritual things (Phil. 4.6). Surely we should thank the Lord before asking Him for something.
Truly, grace and faith are wonderful gifts. The future life we hope for with Christ is also a great gift—the greatest! The mental peace we have because of our Lord’s actions at the Cross and our trust in Them is something that surpasses all secular intelligence. How could we go on without that peace? That peace is what God grants us when we pray (Phil. 4.7).
I thank God for all of these!
In both a physical sense and a spiritual one, we indeed have it made compared to our ancestors. That we can be thankful for, for sure.
We don’t think about it very often, but our ancestors lived in times when Christianity was against the law—the penalty being death, oftentimes by torture. All the Divine Couriers were murdered in the most horrendous ways.
We don’t think about it very often, but our ancestors lived in times when Christianity was against the law—the penalty being death, oftentimes by torture. All the Divine Couriers were murdered in the most horrendous ways. Herod the antichristian chopped John the Baptizer's head off and ordered the murder of an entire generation of male babies.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the antichristians whipped him with thirty-nine lashes five different times. He was beaten with a rod three times, and stoned once. While traveling to proclaim Christ, he was shipwrecked three times, and spent a night and a day drifting in the sea. He was robbed and also persecuted by every Adamic race.
Fake Christians betrayed him, and he was often naked and cold and hungry. Besides all of these problems, he had to concern himself with his charge over several newly founded Assemblies. (II Korinthians 11.24-28)
When Paul wrote his powerful Letter to the Divine Assembly at Philippi, Greece, he was in prison seven-hundred miles away at Rome. Nevertheless, he urged the Philippians not to concern themselves with his flesh—but to rejoice in his persecution because it was for Christ and that even if he was martyred it would be to the benefit of their faith. He also urged them to rejoice if he was martyred. (Phil. 2.17-18)
Paul reminded the unruly Korinthians of the troubles he and the other Divine Couriers were going through—for their benefit:
11. Until the present time we indeed hunger, and thirst, and remain poorly clothed, and are beaten continually, and wander homeless, and labor—working with our own hands!
12. Being continually cursed by you, we bless!
Being continually persecuted by you, we support!
Being continually defamed by you, we praise!
13. We have been made like filth for the world—waste wiped off by all until now! (I Kor. 4.11-13)
Before he finished his ministry, Paul had been put in prison twice in Rome, once in Jerusalem, once in Kaesarea, and Nero finally had him beheaded at Rome—all for proclaiming Christ as God and Savior.
Imagine what Christ Himself went through: beaten, cursed, spat upon, made to carry His Own Cross, nailed to that Cross, then hung up and left to die.
The Roman Emperor Nero killed hundreds of thousands of Christians—by feeding them to lions, beheading them, or by his favorite method: hanging them on posts and setting them on fire while they were still alive.
Paul’s famous student, Timothy, whom he left in charge of the Divine Assemblies he had founded, was castrated, hung upside down on a cross, set afire, then dragged through the streets for a show—to set fear in other Christians.
Moreover, I think we often forget that even in the last Century it’s not always been safe (or easy) being a believer in Christ.
In Russia in 1917, they immediately outlawed Christianity and began burning Churches and killing priests and believers. They had killed twenty-five million. For forty-five years after WWII both Bibles and Christianity were illegal behind the Soviet Bloc. Millions more died because of their Christian faith. In many countries Christians can not legally or safely practice their religion.
Many of the early Christians fled the Middle-East and Southern Europe to live in safer places to the North. They often lived in communes—for protection—and so that they could be in union with one another. They would have priests who were responsible for studying and holding religious services.
One such commune existed upon the coast of Ireland between 300 and 400 A.D. The people lived in rock huts. Each day they had to get up early and spend the whole day going about the land foraging for food. They were serious about their faith, though, and had a priest there to carry out services and teach them at the end of the day.
The following quotation is from the diary of their priest:
I am tired and hungry, and it is cold. There was very little light for study today, and the text was difficult. I feel as though I have accomplished little, but I must keep going.
General George Washington and his troops starved and froze during the winters of their war to free themselves from British tyranny—the troops went without pay and without seeing their families for years. Some lived underground in Catacombs or in Caves. Some were stolen,kidnapped, or made to work long hours in the galley's of ships, some as gladiators., sometimes dealt with cannibals in the new world,and vicious attacks .
Pirate ships invaded all of Southern Europe in the most vicious raids, and they took millions of captives back to Africa over a thousand years of invasions.
Dead bodies infected with the Bubonic Plague hurled into forts and caused a plague that killed twenty million Christians in the 1300s. Christians also had to endure raids from pirates, and religionist con artists.
Many of the men were enslaved in galley ships where they remained chained until they died, and then they were tossed into the sea and forgotten.
Pope Urban called up the very first Crusade .Crusades started to take place.
Southern Russia was enslaved for over a 100 years,as well as other parts of Europe.Greece was enslaved for 400 years, and Italy was enslaved for several times-each demanding their most beautiful women as tribute.Spain was enslaved for several hundred years.
In the war against the south, many southern soldiers were wearing clothes that had rotted off of them to the point that nothing was left but tattered rags sewn together. They went home to burned down homes and entire cities demolished and oftentimes whole families murdered or scattered. Thousands of family names that had been in America for over two-hundred years were wiped out forever.
In the South, practically every Southerner’s ancestors worked in cotton mills sixteen hours a day six days a week—only to be paid in mill script that could only be spent at the Mill Store.
In the commodity panic of 1907, Southern farmers starved because their crops were essentially worthless on the markets. Families broke up. Some moved into southern cities and went to work slaving in the cotton mills. Others went west where they found themselves locked out of many states. The same happened to Midwesterners in the 1930s, when so many flooded into the Promise Land of California—only to find that the locals detested them and wanted them stopped from entering the state. The police thus arrested them and sent them back East—away from California.
Indeed, we have a lot to be thankful for both in the physical realm and the spiritual. We ought to be thankful to the Lord for His beneficence and kindness toward us—for protecting us and providing us with a nation.
Give thanks to God for all His blessings and all His gifts to us—and that, compared to our ancestors—we today have it made.
For these things I am thankful to Him everyday—all year round.
And today, yes, I’m in a special state of thankfulness, as we all should be!
TAKE TIME OUT TO SKYWATCH AND SMELL THE ROSES WHILE GIVING THANKS.
AND LET US NOT WE WEARY IN WELL DOING;
FOR IN DUE SEASON WE SHALL REAP IF WE FAINT NOT .GALATIANS 6:9
WORK AS UNTO THE LORD
HOPE IN JESUS THROUGH THE WORD.
BUILD TREASURES IN HEAVEN.