“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Pet. 1:1).
These “strangers” to whom Peter wrote his two epistles were actually “pilgrims.” He used the same Greek word (parepidemos) in 1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts.” The word means a resident foreigner, and its only other New Testament usage is in Hebrews 11:13, speaking of the ancient patriarchs, who “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
We give honor on Thanksgiving Day to the American “pilgrims,” as they called themselves (thinking of these very verses), who left their homelands in order better to serve God in a foreign land. The “pilgrims” to whom Peter was writing likewise had been “scattered abroad” for their faith (note Acts 8:4).
For that matter, every born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is really just a pilgrim here on earth, ambassadors for Christ in a foreign land. “For our conversation is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). That is, we are citizens of heaven (the Greek word translated “conversation” in this verse is politeuma, meaning “a community” or “citizenship”), and are here only for a time to serve our Lord until He calls us home.
While we are here, we may endure many trials and sorrows, just as did those Massachusetts pilgrims, but He nevertheless supplies our needs — just as He did for them — and we ought to abound in thanksgiving, as they did.
Of all people in the history of the world, none have more cause for thanksgiving than American Christians. Therefore, since we are “enriched in every thing,” through our Savior, this “causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:11), and we should be “abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:7).
The Bible frequently emphasizes the importance of praise and thanks. This nation has much reason for praise and thanksgiving, for God has blessed us perhaps more than any other. “Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations” (Ps. 100:4–5).
Additional Thanksgiving stories to read and cherish with your family from
Days to Remember – Devotions for the Holidays Throughout the Year:
|Thanksgiving in the Bible
Thanks Be unto God
Thanks for Christian Friends
Remember His Benefits
In Everything Give Thanks
|In Everything Give Thanks
Thanks for Everything
Sing and Give Thanks
Thanks for the Greatest Gift
Thanksgiving in Heaven