Thanksgiving is a day set aside for us to pause and remember what we have to be thankful for – so much!
We often fall into the tradition of thanking God for our freedom, homes or even family members. These are all such deep blessings from God. When considering persecuted Christians, however, they often do not have any of these things. They often are stripped of freedom, comforts and community.
Do persecuted Christians have anything to be thankful for?
While this holiday is mainly celebrated in Canada and the United States, here are three ways Christians can be thankful today despite persecution:
1. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
Those facing persecution can be thankful that while their health may deteriorate and their bodies may be beaten, God has given them the assurance of His strength and presence eternally. No earthly power can take this away.
2. “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9
The Lord know what is our benevolent good. He has given us His steadfast love. We are also aware of His wondrous deeds through His Word, namely sending His Son to die for our sins. We were separated from His due to our sin, and He graciously made a way for our relationship to be made right again, through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Believers throughout time and across the globe have this as a constant joy.
3. “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
We live in a fallen world, tainted by sin. This means we will face sorrowful things in life, often for the sake of Christ’s Name. Although God is bearing with the world in His perfect patience, we can rest in His promise that He will one day make all things right and redeem His people. Suffering will be no more when we spend eternity with Him. This is cause for great thanksgiving!
In a world that latches onto material things for comfort, the persecuted church knows very well that its treasure and joy lie in things unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). The Bible is clear; all believers have reason to praise and thank God for all the good He provides, both today and through eternity. Will you join those facing extreme persecution to offer thanksgiving to God today?
Learn more of what persecuted Christians are facing on our World Watch List.