2021—A Year of Mourning, Patient Waiting, and Thankfulness

“Thanksgiving is a self-denying grace; it is an uncrowning ourselves and the creatures, to set the crown upon the head of our Creator; it is the making ourselves a footstool, that God may be lifted up upon his throne, and ride in a holy triumph over all.” –Thomas Brooks

On Sunday November 14th, at 5 PM, Lord willing, we are planning to have our big Thanksgiving Dinner.  At this dinner, and in light of God’s incredible faithfulness, I thought we would take a moment for individual members of The Road to share a short testimony about God’s faithfulness to us.  God is always faithful to us and His Spirit lives in us to guide and shape us to be more like Jesus.  Sometimes, our experience is pleasant and sometimes we pass through a season of pain and difficulty. Sometimes we have a full year of circumstances that frustrate us. In each case, God, who “alone knows what is most profitable,” is seeking to conform us to the image of his Son.
Would you like to give a brief testimony on the 14th?  Has God worked in such a way in the past few weeks in your life that you feel led to share it with other believers?  To grow in godliness is to grow in thankfulness.  One of my favorite pastors, Thomas Watson, wrote, “A godly man is a thankful man; praise and thanksgiving is the work of heaven, and he begins that work here, which he shall be always doing in heaven. The Jews have a saying, ‘The world subsists by three things, the law, the worship of God, and thankfulness;’ as if where thankfulness were wanting [lacking], one of the pillars of the world were taken away, and it were ready to fall.” (Thomas Watson, The Godly Man’s Picture, 114.)
Some might ask, “Pastor Dale, I would do that but I don’t like to speak in front of crowds and I am uncertain of what I should say.  Can you help me?” Yes, regarding speaking in front of a group, please remember that these are fellow believers who love you and are ready to rejoice with you.  They are not there to criticize but to comfort you as you share your experience with the Lord.  Then lastly, what are some helps a believer can think about when trying to determine what the Lord has been doing in their life?  Here are some questions to ask yourself: 1) in what areas lately have I seen the Lord demonstrate his faithfulness to me? 2) have I experienced an answer to prayer, that really seemed to capture God’s care over me or someone else? 3) what promise or verse in the Scriptures have I been really thankful for lately and why? And finally, 4) seek to complete this sentence, ‘In the past few weeks, I have been especially thankful to God because _________________.’  There are many other questions that could be asked but these will provide you with a good start as you contemplate God’s faithful activity in your recent walking with him.  If, after reading this list, you feel led to share a brief (two minutes at most) testimony at our thanksgiving dinner then please see either Dale or Charles so we can schedule it.  Thank you for considering this and have a blessed week.  See you Sunday!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Dale