Dr. Gary Baker is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email him at pastor@gracebaptistpaso.org.

This week I thought it would be appropriate to share a meditation on being thankful as we look forward to celebrating with family and friends on this coming Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. The apostle Paul wrote an important statement about Thanksgiving in the holy scripture: “In everything give thanks for this is the WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus for you.” God desires that we be people who are always giving thanks to God. The psalmist, David, stated this truth many times in the psalms: “ I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” (Psalm 35:18). We are encouraged again by the apostle Paul to be “abounding” in Thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7).

This Thanksgiving is obviously directed to God and, in reality, is a form of worship and appreciation for all He does for us. This worship indicates that the person giving thanks has a personal relationship with God. We have so much to thank Him for in our lives. In God’s love, He gave us His greatest gift, which was His beloved Son, to save us and provide us with an everlasting home in heaven when we die. Thanks to God that we don’t fear death. In God’s goodness, He provides all we need to live a comfortable life. In God’s omniscience, we have His wisdom to guide us in this life. In God’s omnipotence and omnipresence, we have God’s power and presence to do everything that pleases Him and to do His will in our lives. We are given the strength we need to handle and overcome victoriously the challenges and difficulties of life. God cares about us personally and sincerely desires to answer our prayers that are according to His Will (1 Peter 3:12, 5:7, 1 John 5:14-15).

We also have much to be thankful for to God as Americans. We are the freest people in the world. The founders of our beloved country made this constitutionally possible. We can pursue our personal choices of vocations, education, religion, speech, and politics. These freedoms are a great blessing and something we should be enthusiastically thankful for before God. I personally believe that the most blessed country to live in is America. This is true because the founders of our country believed in God and trusted Him to take care of them from the very beginning. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s worship, praise, and thank God for All he has done for us.