"From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing" (Jer. 30:19, NIV).
When the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, Mass., on Nov. 11, 1620, the Pilgrim fathers were full of expectancy. Months before they were addressed by the pastor, John Robinson (c. 1575-1625), who said to them, "The Lord hath more light and truth to break forth his word." The future looked so bright once the Pilgrims landed, but they fell on unbelievably hard times their first year, when many actually starved to death.
Why did God allow such unexpected adversity to a group of people who sincerely thought they were glorifying God in their venture? I do not know, but I know this: once they had begun to experience God's bounty they determined to be grateful. The result was Thanksgiving Day.
The original Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims was ordered after the first harvest in Plymouth Colony (1621). Special days were often appointed in New England for thanksgiving or fasting. Beginning in Connecticut in 1649, the observance of an annual harvest festival spread throughout New England by the end of the eighteenth century. George Washington proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1789. With Abraham Lincoln's proclamation in 1863, it became an annual observance. By an act of Congress in 1941, Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday of November. Sadly, few Americans know this history, and not many care. Although it is America's favorite holiday, it is sadly known largely now for eating turkey and watching football. Few go to church to thank God on that day.
I believe that the falling of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, was a wake-up call to all the nations of the world. Ungrateful nations will be judged—sooner or later. Ungrateful leaders, the rich and the poor, will be judged—sooner or later.
There's a great day coming! Are you ready? The best preparation for that day is to be found in repentance, thanking God.
R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London from 1977 to 2002. He now lives in Nashville, Tenn. He is a well-known speaker and the author of many books. This article was excerpted from Just Say Thanks!
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details