“Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou host done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” —Psalm 40:5

MOST of us will doubtless agree with the psalmist that our causes for thanksgiving to God for his wonderful works are more than can be numbered. Nevertheless, are we not refreshed and made more conscious of God’s goodness to us when we do count some of our blessings? How glad we are that God’s thoughts have been to “us-ward.”

The prerequisite, of course, to the enjoyment of anything is life. Without life no blessing could be enjoyed. With full life, any blessing is possible. God is the great First Cause, and the great First Giver. He it was who made man, and not man who made himself. So then, life itself is the gift of God, originally to our first parents, Adam and Eve, and through them to us. What cause for thanksgiving is ours in having such a mighty and glorious Creator! How immeasurably beyond the finite is the mighty scope of his attributes. He is possessed with infinite justice, wisdom, and love, and exercises power commensurate with the glory of his character.

Man’s capacity for pleasure and enjoyment were certainly not overlooked by his Maker when he was so richly endowed with the faculties which are his. What infinite variety of pleasing sensations are possible of perception by man through seeing, feeling, and hearing, especially; also through taste and smell. How matter of course we take the magical though common blessings we continually enjoy through the use of our eyes. The beauty of stars and moon by night; by day the beauties in nature and of the changing seasons in sky, in field, in wood, and water. And can we consider of less moment the finer senses—the attributes or faculties of the mind and heart—the power to think, to reason, to compare? Surely man has been “fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Ps. 139:14

God’s thoughts to us-ward are further evidenced in the provision made for man in nature. Though imperfect now, still cannot we see how well the environment suits the creature? How does the sunshine and the rain cause the earth to bring forth of grass and flower and fruit and vegetable? In abundance, the earth has supplied not only food, but shelter for man—wood, stone, and steel for houses. And from mother earth come coal and oil for fuel, and rich deposits of ore and minerals—the materials with which man has made everything with which we are familiar. Our entire material environment is made from those raw materials which earth, air, and water supply.

Other blessings might be classified as more or less peculiar to our day. Many of these our forefathers did not enjoy. Neither can “be reckoned up in order. … If I would … speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Ps. 40:5) General education, the ability to read and write, is one of them. It is something we take largely for granted, especially here in the United States. It has been on the increase for some years. It was rare a few hundred years ago, particularly before printing came into general use. With facilities such as concordances, lexicons, reference Bibles, and other Bible helps, how much easier Scripture study has been made than was the case with the Early Christians.

Rapid transit is a modern blessing peculiar to our day. Horseback and the stagecoach were the fastest means of travel in George Washington’s day. Now, electric high-speed trains, jet airplanes, and automobiles of all kinds have made running to and fro the order of the day. Rapid communication, a thing unknown through the ages, is becoming even faster—global satellite communications involve telephone, television, and radio.

Electricity is distinctly modern as a blessing to mankind. Its use within the past century has altered our world. The automation of all kinds we take for granted today would have been considered nothing short of miraculous only a century ago. Have we not cause for thanksgiving that we live in a country where so many privileges are enjoyed—where we have considerable freedom of speech and assembly, and may worship God according to knowledge and the dictates of our conscience. Such liberty has not always prevailed, nor does it now prevail in many parts of the world.

Most of the foregoing causes for thankfulness apply to the man of the world as well as to the Christian. However, there are many special reasons for which the Christian has particular cause for thankfulness. Should he not rejoice that he has inherited that quality of mind wherein he can exercise faith? “All men have not faith,” we are told. (II Thess. 3:2) We are also told that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) God it is who has given us the Bible, his Word. Thankful we should be for the knowledge thereby made possible, whereupon our faith may rest.

The spirit of thanksgiving may be made to increase if, by comparison, one realizes his present state is an improvement over a previous one. Previously we were “aliens … and strangers … having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12) David, prophetically speaking, says, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock … and he hath put a new song in my mouth.” (Ps. 40:2,3) St. Peter refers to this as being “called out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Light here is synonymous with truth—the truth concerning God—his character and his plan. Indeed, such knowledge is marvelous—what cause for gratitude! If our faith has laid hold on this knowledge we can exclaim with the Apostle Paul, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”—Rom. 11:33

A faith in the knowledge received may lead on to forgiveness and justification. According to our faith it will be unto us. God has made every provision for the Christian, but these provisions are all entered into through faith in Jesus Christ. After referring to the fact that we were justified by faith in Christ and have peace with God, St. Paul declares further that “by him, also we have access into this grace [the consecrated or sanctified life] wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1,2) What grace indeed that we should be called the “sons of God,” and “if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”—Rom. 8:17

What causes for praise are thus the Christian’s, that he has been called to this “high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:1,4) Yes, unto us are given “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”—II Pet. 1:4

Preeminent among God’s gifts to the church is the gift of his Spirit, often referred to as the Holy Spirit, concerning which St. Paul writes to the church at Rome, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. … Ye have received the Spirit of adoption [sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:14,15) For the oneness of the Spirit Jesus prayed, “That they may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.—John 17:21

It is a source of joy to those who wholly love the Lord that they are privileged to use whatever talents they have in his service. Though they have given all to God in consecration, God has not taken their all away from them. Rather, as is pictured in one of our Lord’s parables, he has said, “Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13) Thus we are left to use all our talents—health, head, hands, and feet, our time, our all, in the service of the Master. “In season, out of season” (II Tim. 4:2) to ourselves, let us proclaim to others “the old, old story of Jesus and his love.”

Let us be thankful, too, that some time yet remains in which we may continue to work, though it be the eleventh hour in which we hear the call, “Go ye also into the vineyard.” (Matt. 20:7) Let us be thankful that the “four angels … holding the four winds of the earth” are commanded to “hurt not the earth … till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:1-3) Let us work now “while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”—John 9:4

“Many, O Lord my God are thy wonderful works … and thy thoughts … to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up … unto thee: if I would declare … them, they are more than can be numbered.”—Ps. 40:5

Dawn Bible Students Association
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