A Heart of Thanksgiving
I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my pleas: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” O Lord, you [have taken] up my case; you [have] redeemed my life.
– Lamentation 3:55-58
This morning I came into my office desiring to draw near to the Lord! So, I opened Morning & Evening Daily Readings by Charles Spurgeon and was directed to the above passage of Scripture. Spurgeon writes…
Observe how positively the prophet speaks. He doth not say, ‘I hope, I trust, I sometimes think, that God hath pleaded the causes of my soul’; but he speaks of it as a matter of fact not to be disputed. ‘Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul’ (KJV). Let us, by the aid of the gracious Comforter, shake off those doubts and fears which so much mar our peace and comfort…’O Lord, Thou has pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life.’ A grateful spirit should ever be cultivated by the Christian; and especially after deliverances we should prepare a song for our God. Earth should be a temple filled with the songs of grateful saints, and every day should be a censer smoking with the sweet incense of thanksgiving…O children of God, seek after a vital experience of the Lord’s loving-kindness, and when you have it, speak positively of it; sing gratefully; shout triumphantly.
Here is the most important question I can ask you this morning as we celebrate Thanksgiving: Are you truly in Christ? To be in Christ means that Christ is in you. And if Christ is not in you then you do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9 states, “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” If you are not sure of your answer to my question then simply receive Jesus into your heart by faith. All God requires is a believing heart! The moment a man or woman trusts his or her life over to Christ for forgiveness and redemption, then, and only then, does the Holy Spirit take up residence in his or her heart. This is what it means to believe and be saved. Salvation comes by faith and is evidenced by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Once you are in Christ then you should rejoice and be full of thanksgiving. In that moment of belief Jesus has set you free from guilt, shame and the penalty of sin, which is death. Jesus came to “set the captives free!” He came to offer redemption for us—that is, payment for our sins. Think about this for a moment. Jesus paid the price for your sins. He has redeemed your life from the pit and given you eternal life. No matter what you are going through you have eternal life. One day, and perhaps soon, we, who believe, will be set free forever from sin and death.
John writes in Revelation 21:4-5, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne (Jesus) said, ‘I am making everything new.’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Now this is something to shout about. This gives us a reason to rejoice and give thanks to the One who will return one day and bring heaven to earth. Oh, how I long for that day! On this day of Thanksgiving, let us rejoice and be glad for this is the day the Lord has made.