Thanksgiving is a time for family, for careless fun, for good bargains, and, of course, for feasts! This Thanksgiving though, whether we gather around a table with family and extended family, whether we are eating a TV dinner by ourselves, whether we are doing something else entirely, let us not simply be thankful with our words, but let us recognize and appreciate the one thing we should be most thankful for.
When you are thankful for something, it usually means you are happy that something that happened in your favor. It can be someone coming into your life, a special event, or just random things that people do for you! All in all, things turned out in your favor and thus, you’re thankful it did. So, allow me to shed some logic on the subject of thankfulness.
1.) We are thankful, because something good has made us happy/joyful and we wish to share it either with others or note it verbally/mindfully.
2.) We experience this happiness/joyfulness because some event turned out to be in our favor.
3.) By acknowledging things went in our favor, we must acknowledge that there were other ways an event could have played out that would not have gone in our favor.
4.) When events do not favor us, we are not happy/joyful.
5.) In order for us to experience happiness/joyfulness, we must have gone through events in our life, or acknowledged events in someone else’s life, where things did not go in our/their favor.
6.) Thus, without unfavorable experiences, we would not know happiness/joyfulness.
This list of separate, smaller truths (#1-5) help us to acknowledge a truth most would find undesirable and would otherwise try and ignore. Don’t believe me? Many preachers today will, almost unceasingly, tell you about the goodness of heaven and the holiness of it, and the perfection of it, but would rather lose their job than tell you about the “bad place.” However, I believe they are doing those they are witnessing to a large disservice by ignoring the fact that there is a place for non-believers and it is called Hell.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:22
“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched” Mark 9:43
“For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” Pslams 86:13
If you don’t accept Christ, you are going to Hell. Hell is a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place where God is not and hope is not. I do not, by any means, tell you this in order to terrify you into accepting Christ, because then I would have to doubt your salvation. Rather, I tell you these things because it is a reality that all must face and I wish to spare you from it.
Now you may be asking to yourself, “How can a God who is good do this to people?” To ask that question is logical, by human thinking, but it is also flawed. God, in His justness, does things to glorify Himself and when our sin enters the picture, His glory is dimmed by our selfish acts. Thus, sin must be dealt with. But before you get all distraught and upset that His solution to sin was Hell, I’m here to tell you it wasn’t. His response to a lack of faith, holiness, and righteousness on our part, was to die on a cross and take on all of the sin that you and I committed and will ever commit. Hell is a sad, desperately hopeless place because those in it chose not to believe that God took on their sin for the world.
This topic, although overwhelming, must be talked about. Without knowing what God has selflessly done for us and saved us from, we would never truly be thankful for Him. Lord, even though we don’t know all of the reasons you do the things you do, let us be thankful that you have saved us and are restoring us daily.