James 1:17-18 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
This Thanksgiving season, there seems to be at least as much to be frustrated by, angry about, and fearful of than thankful for. Every issue has been weaponized and politicized, which leaves the country polarized. Ordering gifts for the holiday season is an exercise in futility unless you can swim out to a port, board the ship, and sort through the boxes to find what you ordered. No one is happy and virtually no one is healthy.
Instead of looking to the left or right to find things to be thankful for, we need to look up. As I’ve been preaching verse-by-verse through the book of James in the Bible, a phrase from the opening page has molded my mind with an attitude of gratitude. As a Bible-believing Christian, I am convinced that I deserve to be kindling in the eternal fires of hell. Anything beyond that is a gift that has been dropped down into my life from my Father in Heaven. That shift in perspective causes every day, and almost every experience, to contain in it things for which I am thankful. For example, being stuck in traffic burning overpriced gas to be late to a meeting is still a nice upgrade from the wrath of God.
This Thanksgiving season, I am grateful that, while everything from political parties to investment portfolios and supply chains are broken, there is one thing that is still a worthwhile investment – Bible teaching that proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus’ kid brother and bunkbed-mate, James, tells us. God is still seeking and saving people through Bible teaching and He always has and always will. The supply chain might break but not the salvation chain. The political parties may fail us but not the Prince of Peace.
This holiday season, we should be thankful for not only what the Father has sent down as a gift from Heaven but Who the Father has sent down as a gift from Heaven. The holidays are the time we look up to see Jesus Christ coming down with the greatest gift of all – eternal life through His death, salvation through His condemnation, and forgiveness through His faithfulness.
Who and what are you thankful for this year?
To get daily devos sent texted to you Monday-Friday, text DEVOTIONS to 99383. Click here to find the study guide and sermon series that accompanies this devotional series.