Giving thanks and spiritual revival are connected. Paul lists ingratitude as one of the earmarks of our depravity. He states that the downward spiral of sin started when unrighteous men “knew God, but did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful…” (Romans 1:21)
Ingratitude is also part of the apostasy of the last days (2 Timothy 3:2). An entitlement mentality has brought to many of us a spirit of ingratitude. We feel that we are “owed” certain luxuries and fail to see the gifts that come our way as God’s grace.(1) James 1:17 tells us: “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”
After 70 long years of captivity in Babylon (Iraq), Ezra and Nehemiah had returned with nearly 50,000 Hebrews to Jerusalem. They gathered for a nationwide Bible study, standing for hours to hear the reading of God’s Word, which they hadn’t done as a nation for many, many years. Check out what Nehemiah then called them to do:
“Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Nehemiah 8:10-12)
Nehemiah called on the Jews to spend a day giving thanks and celebrating with food and drink. Sound familiar? But he didn’t stop there. They didn’t simply celebrate and then move on with life and the rebuilding of the city. They pressed in to the Lord. Just 24 days later, they spent an entire day in a completely different posture before the Lord.
“Now on the 24th day the people of Israel assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. And they separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day. For another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.” (9:1-3)
God’s Word, prayer, worship, repentance–and thanksgiving–all preludes to genuine revival.
May we all experience a Thanksgiving Revival this year!
Web Pastor and Administrator
(1) Dr. Jeff Amsbaugh–Woodbridge, VA