Why Should We Be Thankful for God’s Goodness to America?
(2 Corinthians 9:11)
11: Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God (King James Version – KJV).
11: You will be made rich in every respect so you may be able to give generously [†when a need arises]. And your generosity, as administered through us [to the Jerusalem saints], will cause those who receive the gifts to thank and praise God (New Millennia In-depth Bible - NMIB).
In 2 Corinthians 9:11 the apostle Paul is specifically telling the Corinthian saints that God will give them ample riches so they may help those who are needy. Though Paul was asking for money from the Corinthians to take to the starving saints in Jerusalem, we, in America, must interpret this in a broader sense. America still leads the world in charitable giving, though we are now in a financial crisis ourselves. But God has given us an ample supply so we may have enough to give those who have nothing so they will praise God (v.11). Ancient Judaism understood this concept of caring for the poor which was taught by Jesus and is still followed today by Jews and Christians alike. Many of the poor who received alms (generous gifts/offerings) during the time of Christ gave God praise though it came indirectly from the hands of people. These were people who were moved by compassion when they saw the pitiful condition of the poor — the beggars, lepers, etc.
I have visited many countries outside the United States where there is abject poverty. I have seen people living in cardboard boxes in India, Vietnam and the Philippines. I have seen lepers and children begging on the streets, and said to myself, “The poorest person in American is richer than any of these people.” Returning from such trips, I am always filled with joy as my plane touches down on the runway in America. I am happy to be back in the land of the free and the brave. But with such vivid memories of the poverty and pain I’ve witnessed, I am compelled by the love of God to reach out and help through any means possible.
There is no doubt that God has blessed us financially. However, Americans today have become vain and self-centered, and are giving less to the needy. It’s important for us to remember that God blesses us when we bless others who are less fortunate. True believers realize we have nothing which we have not received from Him. Therefore, we should always give God the credit, because it is His abundant supply that makes it possible for us to help others. When a believer gives something of value to others, he/she should do so without taking personal credit. \
Each year at this time we celebrate “Thanksgiving.” Unfortunately, most young Americans do not know what “Thanksgiving” is all about. Many have never heard how the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared a meal together, thus initiating the “first” thanksgiving. They are no longer taught how the Pilgrims gave thanks for God’s goodness. And because they don’t understand the significance of “Thanksgiving,” it has become just another day when the schools close and parents are off work.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we must never forget the legacy of our great country, and the privilege of living in a free country — the United States of America. Though I cannot quote the statistics regarding how many Christians are currently fighting the war against terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is likely that there are many. And while every combat solider deserves a “Thank-You” for investing his or her time fighting terrorism, it is seldom mentioned that a large number of these are Christians. They have always been on the front-lines when it comes to defending the country they so dearly love.
It is my prayer that you remember the true reason for Thanksgiving this year. Offer a prayer of special thanks to the Lord for His plentiful blessings to America and to you and your family. And let Christ continually reign in your midst and in your heart as you follow the course He has set before you in ministry.