Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  I Chronicles 16:34.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  I Thessalonians 5:18.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21.

Today is Thanksgiving Day and a special one for me.  As I have written about elsewhere in this Journal, I recently came close to death with a bad case of viral pneumonia complicated by a weak heart.  I have now recovered fully from the pneumonia and a long way to recovery after successful bypass surgery.  Even though the last few months were full of trauma and sickness for me I am so thankful that God in his sovereignty has raised me back up and given me more time to live.  I feel keenly the need to use the rest of my life in serving God in a more dedicated way then I have before, a real blessing that has come out of my sickness.

My near death has more often had me thinking about eternity and my mortality.  I am almost 61 years old and at most only have a relatively short number of years before me.  However, a Christian should have no fear of death.  As Paul reminds us, to live is Christ and to die is actually to our gain.  We have no worries about eternity as Christ’s death on the cross has taken care of our eternal destiny for us.  This leaves us free to follow God’s command and give thanks in all things to the Lord, regardless of our circumstances.  He is good and His love for us endures forever.

No matter what problems we may face, including even sickness and death, we know that all things work to a Christian’s good.  That is all things.  In my case, had I not had the pneumonia they may not have discovered my heart blockage before it was too late.  Further, even if I had died it would have been to my gain.  These truths have been such a comfort to me of late and I have been especially thankful this holiday season for my life and even more for my eternal life to come.