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March 19, 2007

In Everything Give Thanks

WE ALL HAVE MUCH in the past to forget. It may be a sorrow, a hurt, a wound, a bitter experience, or a sin. Rather than giving in to the depths of sorrow and distress at the loss of a friend, one should offer thanks to God for the years they were privileged to have each other. When the Prophet Ezekiel lost his wife, he simply said, “At evening my wife died, and in the morning I did as God commanded.” He had simply passed a milestone in his life, was thankful for the time they spent together, and was now looking forward.

So many times we lose our personal joy and peace by remembering a hurt or wound that may have come through another. To be truly thankful one should forget these wounds and rejoice in the providence of God who makes everything work together for our good. As Joseph languished in a filthy Egyptian jail, he had every reason to be resentful and bitter toward his brethren, but he later was able to say, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” What a wonderful time of thanksgiving we could enjoy if we could follow such an example.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

(Excerpt from Dr. R.A. Forrest’s Thanksgiving Day message at Homecoming 1949. Taken from the book: Leaves From the Tree God Planted © 2006 by Toccoa Falls College, p.24-25)