By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)
Scripture Readings: Psalms 134-136
Key Scripture Verse: Psalm 136:1 (NIV, Life Application Bible) “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
Psalm 136 is the perfect Thanksgiving prayer of thanks to God. Every line of it gives tribute to God, thanking him for all of his many blessings. Every line ends with a responsive second line that says, “His love endures forever.” It would make the perfect prayer for your Thanksgiving dinners this holiday. Please read it in its entirety.
We have much to be thankful for. The Apostle Paul said that we should pray unceasingly and in those prayers we should remember to thank God for all that he has done for us, because he is the giver of all that is good. All the bounty we have we have because he has given it to us or given us the abilities to achieve and gain for ourselves. We can only truly enjoy what we have because he gives us the ability to receive the fruits of our labor and to enjoy them, otherwise it would be “meaningless,” as Solomon says in Ecclesiastes.
“In all circumstances,” we are to give thanks, per the Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Even in the difficult times, it is God who carries us, giving us the strength to endure. And it is God who can make good come from the evil that strikes us. For “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). So, we can give thanks to him for all that is good, all that he does for us, and in all circumstances, because “his love endures forever.”
That’s really wonderful to ponder, isn’t it? That no one can take that away from us, because he will always love us and do what is best for those of us who love him.
Many blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
By Paul Simrell
The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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