from the desk of…A heart full of thanksgiving

By Carolyn Knaggs, Commissioner

This year on Thanksgiving day we will be blessed to have three of our family members joining us around our table. We are overjoyed in this time of the year that brings our family to the same community. We will laugh and catch up with each other, which, hopefully, will lead us into a deeper love for each other. Our conversations will extend beyond the characters in a text message. I am really looking forward to these face-to-face conversations that will be filled with meaningful sentences and beautiful facial expressions. Our family loves to be together.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We have moved throughout the territory and have observed the faithfulness of God. We have delighted in the many people who have come before the Lord to give their hearts to him. We know that cleansing and healing have come to those who sought the grace of our heavenly Father. We have watched families kneel together at the mercy seat asking for protection and provision for their loved ones. We know that God has answered their prayers and have seen reconciliation in their lives. Our praise goes to God for his faithfulness to all of us. We can trust him with our families. He takes delight and interest in us because we are his children.

All through the Scriptures we are called to thanksgiving. In Psalm 95:2, we are urged to give thanks with music and song. How blessed we are to sing and hear the praises of his people! In Psalm 100:4, we are asked to praise God with a heart of thanksgiving. Both the Old and New Testaments remind us that our hearts should overflow with thanks because of the indescribable gift of Jesus who brings salvation. Through Jesus, we find victory in our lives and circumstances. We give thanks to Christ because he has triumphed, conquering sin and death.

In our understanding of thankfulness, we are reminded that everything God created is good and his love is to be known among the nations. This includes the USA Western Territory. We are his people, and every day he shows us his love, grace and mercy. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Exercises of faith are revealed in I Thessalonians 5:18 where we are asked to give thanks in all circumstances…for this is the will of God for us through Jesus Christ. This is both a challenge and an opportunity to learn from the Spirit of God how to trust the Lord with the things that weigh on our hearts and sometimes even crush our spirits. But we are encouraged to try—to speak of our love and faith in the Lord even when our lives seem to spin out of control.

While my heart easily goes to happy times and family, my thankfulness extends to The Salvation Army and primarily to the saving power of Christ. When I think of you, my heart swells with thanksgiving because I know that God is at work in you. I am encouraged because the Lord has looked upon your hope in him and his presence has not departed from you.

Along with the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians, I pray this prayer of thanksgiving from Philippians 1:3-7: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about you, since I have you in my heart (NIV).

Happy Thanksgiving every day of the year.


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