Psalm 118:1: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
We live in a world full of fear and anxiety. When we turn on the news, we are greeted by suffering, tragedy, and disaster. Our politicians are determined to destroy one another’s reputations, and so they take turns dragging each other through the mud and making more and more outrageous accusations against one another all for the sake of being elected or keeping their position. Evil is now considered to be good, and if you dare say that something is evil, you are demonized as the wicked one.
What shall we do in the midst of so much turmoil?
Give thanks! Give thanks that you have another citizenship in the kingdom of heaven, where righteousness has prevailed, and evil will never enter. Give thanks that our God has called you to be His own. Give thanks that even as this life is fleeting, you have the promise of eternal life and that you have been declared an heir of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Sexual perversion, murder, genocide, and persecutions: these are nothing new in history. Our age is no more or less evil than previous generations, but we have a twenty-four-hour news cycle and the internet. Perhaps we are more efficient at sin than previous generations, yet we are no different before God.
All of the sin of this world we see on television and in the newspapers, all of the sin in your heart, life and thoughts, all of the evil in the world is consumed in Christ Jesus! He is your Immanuel (God with us) for when He took on the frailty of human flesh; He became one of us. He was tempted with everything that has and will seduce you. Jesus alone lived a sinless and perfect life. Jesus alone lived perfect righteousness before the Father, and He did so for you!
Consider the word, “salvation.” It comes from the same root word as salvage.
Consider the word, “salvation.” It comes from the same root word as salvage. We, with Adam and Eve, wrecked God’s creation with our sin. It is our sin that brought death and suffering into this world. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, we destroyed the perfection of God’s creation for we brought imperfection into it. Yet God in His mercy and His timing sent His Son to salvage the wreck that we caused. He came to salvage every life wrecked by sin, and addiction as we are addicted to sin. When we confess that we have sinned, we acknowledge that we, in and of ourselves, are powerless to correct our ways and to overcome the death sin causes.
It is God’s grace (unmerited favor) on Christ’s account that salvages our lost and broken lives, and He bestows the grace on us at the ultimate cost, His life. Jesus Christ was beaten, mocked and hung naked on the cross, the cross He died on, the cross that our sinful selves deserve.
When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they tried to hide themselves and the nakedness that they now knew. They formed coverings of their own imaginations to cover their sinfulness. God saw through their delusions and provided a sacrifice to atone for their sin. With the skins from that sacrifice, God covered them with a covering that He deemed acceptable. In this, we see that God always provides everything His righteousness demands of us.
You can try to cover your sins with your ideas and notions of good works, but these are nothing more than the fig leaves of your imagination.
You can try to cover your sins with your ideas and notions of good works, but these are nothing more than the fig leaves of your imagination. There is a much better covering. Our Heavenly Father, in His love and mercy, sent His only Son to be the ultimate sacrifice to cover the sins of the world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Christ Jesus was given as the sacrifice and offered up by the Father on your account that Jesus might die your death so that you may live His life.
Through the waters of Holy Baptism, you have been coated with the righteousness of Christ (Gal. 3:26). The Lamb of God has given you His skin to wear, and so when the righteous Judge looks at you, He sees Christ who stands between you and judgment, declaring with the voice that created the heavens and the earth, “Not Guilty!”
No matter what your favorite sin is (and let’s call it what it is – sin), ask God to take it from you. Trust and know that even in the midst of that sin, Christ died to forgive that one too. That’s something to be thankful for.
What shall I render to the LORD
For all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD” (Ps. 116:12-13).
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.