“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NKJV)
I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, that giblet bag we all find in the cavity of our yearly frozen turkey is the bestest thing about the Thanksgiving meal. Yeah, I know, the heart, lungs, liver, neck and whatever other innard parts of the turkey are in there but they make for a nice chunky gravy. Yes, I like my turkey gravy chunky (with a snap of sage and black pepper) and I like to pour it all over the Thanksgiving plate so that I may indulge in a dinner roll that I’ll use to clean my plate.
But, ya know, I gotta say this, I’m most grateful for that leftover chunky turkey gravy. I’ll take leftover stuffing, any dark meat, the remainder of that chunky gravy, place it all in a bowl, microwave it, splash Crystal hot sauce on it the next day for lunch. That is the bestest part of Thanksgiving ever (actually, I think WaWa stole this idea from me but I have no evidence to support that accusation). Anyway…
This has been a challenging year, to say the least, and yet in all of the chaos that has ensued there ought to be those moments where we can express our gratitude to our Creator. When we look at 2 Corinthians 4, the infamously titled, “Treasure in Fragile Clay Jars” chapter, we’ll see how the apostle Paul lays out an encouragement to the Corinthian church because of an unfailing gratitude towards the grace of God. Ya see, grace and gratitude are kinda close together and unless you can see this relationship you may not know what gratitude is. I love how Paul says this…
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, BUT we are not crushed. We are perplexed, BUT not driven to despair. We are hunted down, BUT never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, BUT we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
When we truly have Jesus at the heart of everything in our lives, God’s grace to hold us up under pressure makes living in a clay jar easier (now if I can only live that out better than I just typed it out). It’s easy to say “thank you” to God for peace, protection and provision, but if it’s just lip service, without actual gratitude of heart then maybe you’re not truly happy about what the Giver has given you. Even in that, it’s easy to delight in the gift of the salvation you have in Christ but if that delight is not directed to Him, totally, that bowl of chunky turkey gravy may just pass you by.
I know there are many of us who just wanna take 2020 and cringle it up like a sheet of aluminon foil that we use to cover our Thanksgiving turkey’s BUT if we say we are God’s people (like so many of us shout out on social media) then we need to sit around our Thanksgiving tables and be grateful for what God has given to us. If you got Jesus, you got Thanksgiving, it’s just that simple. Your gratitude for that is a response to God’s grace, so make it count. As Paul wraps 2 Corinthians 4, he’ll encourage us with this…
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
To borrow a few words from the pen of John Piper, “Gratitude is the feeling of happiness you feel toward somebody who has shown you some undeserved kindness, that is, who has been gracious to you.” I’m gonna assume you all know that someone is Jesus Christ, if you don’t please e-mail me, we’ll chat.
In closing, I wanna wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and say how grateful I am, personally, for the e-mails that I receive from the Freedom Fighter community. Your kind words and godly insights are appreciated more than you know. Now, if someone could just pass me a slice of pumpkin pie (with a dollop of Cool Whip) and a cup of coffee, I’ll be finer than fine…. (burp, oops, excuse me) AMEN!?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine, and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org