Thankfulness for God’s Works

“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”
—Psalm 111:2

IN THE UNITED STATES, November is the national thanksgiving month; and the people of this country have much for which to be thankful. From the standpoint of material blessings, we enjoy bounties of food, clothing, and housing far beyond those of other nations. Indeed, in large areas of the world the masses are in a state of abject poverty and want. In the United States the people also enjoy freedom of speech and action along religious, as well as political, lines. This, also, is a cause for deep gratitude and thankfulness.

However, a Christian, wholly devoted to knowing and doing God’s will, can take little comfort in the realization that he has more to eat and wear, and a better home in which to live, than the people of other countries. We accept this manifestation of the Lord’s goodness with appreciation, but long for the time to come when the people of all nations will share alike in the good things of earth; not because man will find a solution for human problems, but through the fulfillment of the promises of God to establish a worldwide kingdom of righteousness through the agencies of which “all families of the earth” will be blessed.—Gen. 12:3


As followers of the Master, and firm believers in the promises of God, our chief cause for thankfulness this year, as at all times, is in the works of the Lord; and we continue, as our text indicates, to seek out the works of the Lord in the sense of learning more about them as they are revealed to us in his Word. So far as man is concerned, these works of the Lord begin with the creation of the earth and the ordering of its affairs to be the eternal home of man. These works include the Divine provision for man to live forever on the earth. (Gen. 3:22) While disobedience to God’s law temporarily interfered with the accomplishment of this design, it is still to become a reality; for we are assured that the Lord did not create the earth in vain, but formed it to be inhabited.—Isa. 45:18

God permitted sin to sting man to death, knowing that this was the only effective way in which the human race could learn the terrible results of disobedience to Divine law. (I Cor. 15:56) Following the transgression of our first parents, God’s works have been carried on through his beloved Son. This has been an expression of Divine love—“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) All will eventually be given an opportunity to believe in Christ, and those who do, and who obey the laws of the kingdom, will be saved from perishing forever.


Jesus said to his disciples, “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 13:11) “Many prophets and righteous men,” he explained, “have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them.” (vs. 17) The same is true today, and if they have been revealed to us, it is another wonderful cause for thankfulness. The mysteries of the kingdom are the works of the Lord. Those to whom they have not been revealed hold the mistaken view that all who do not accept Christ in this life are forever lost and, according to the view of many, to be lost means to suffer an eternity of torture in a hell of fire and brimstone.

How thankful we should be to have been delivered from this hallucination, and to realize that the works of the Lord for the present age in his plan are not the enlightenment and conversion of the whole world, but merely the calling out from the world of a people to be associated with Jesus as priests and kings in his thousand-year kingdom. (Acts 15:14-18; Rev. 20:4) We thank God for the assurance that this work will be victoriously accomplished in his own due time, and that then, through Christ and the church, God’s promised blessings of joy and life will flow out to all mankind.

It is erroneously supposed by many that all who are saved through the blood of Christ will be taken to heaven. It is true that those who suffer and die with Jesus will live and reign with him. Jesus promised that he would prepare a place for these, and receive them unto himself. (John 14:1-3) Concerning these, Hebrews 3:1 explains that they are “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” But the works of the Lord are not completed with the calling and exaltation of these who are to live and reign with Christ.


The Divine purpose in this aspect of God’s plan is that through these highly exalted ones, with Jesus as their Head, his oath-bound covenant with Abraham will be fulfilled—that covenant which promised the blessing of ‘all families of the earth’ through his “seed.” Christ is that ‘seed.’ (Gal. 3:8,16) But his footstep followers are to be associated with him in the fulfillment of the promise, for Paul also wrote, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:29

The way that leads to this high position in the Divine plan for the blessing of all mankind is not an easy one. It is a rugged and difficult way. It is a way of sacrifice and suffering. It is a way contrary to the worldly spirit of selfishness, greed, and gain. It is a way that foregoes the pleasures of the world in order to enter into the joys of the Lord. Despite the trials and difficulties of this narrow way, there is a wonderful peace that comes from the assurance that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”—Rom. 8:28

And what is this purpose? Aside from the call and exaltation of these kings and priests, what are the further works of the Lord that are yet to be accomplished? They are the blessing of all the families of the earth upon the earth. What a great cause for thankfulness it is to realize this! The works of the Lord do not include the creation of an abyss of tormenting fire into which all are to be thrown who do not qualify to live and reign with Christ. Instead, as the psalmist further wrote, “His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.”—Ps. 111:3,4

In the last verse of this psalm we read that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and also that “a good understanding have all they that do his commandments.” (vs. 10) The ‘fear’ of the Lord is more properly the reverence of the Lord. If we are to be blessed with the wisdom that is from above, we must have a proper reverence for the Lord. If we reverence the creeds of men and our own opinions more than we reverence the Lord, we will not be blessed with the ‘beginning of wisdom,’ and the mysteries of the kingdom will not be revealed to us.


The psalmist states, ‘A good understanding have all they that do [obey] his commandments.’ As we learn the truth concerning the works of the Lord, it is essential that we direct our lives in harmony therewith; if we are to grow in grace and in knowledge. One of the commandments of the Lord is that we let our light shine. If we have been blessed by the Truth, then it is incumbent upon us that we bear testimony to the enlightenment we have received. We cannot hide our light under a “bushel” and expect the Lord to increase our understanding of the wonderful works of his plan. (Matt. 5:15) But may our great appreciation of the Truth give us courage and strength to tell out the glorious message of God’s love, that the works of the Lord are great. May we continue to be truly thankful that we have been found worthy to have these works of the Lord revealed to us.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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