After the first harvest of 1621, the American Pilgrims celebrated a day of Thanksgiving.  This eventful celebration has since become a national holiday.  Although Christians set aside this special time to acknowledge that the gracious hand of God provides for all our needs, thanksgiving should be a daily celebration.

The word providence comes from two Latin words "pro" and "videre"  which means "to see beforehand."  God is not a mere spectator.  He knows in advance because He plans in advance.  The fulfillment of God's plan is known as the providence of God.

I want to consider four aspects of the providence of God that we should acknowledge every day, but especially the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The first aspect is sustenance.  What God creates he sustains.  The universe and everything within it is dependent upon the being and power of God for continuity of existence.  God holds all things together and for His sustenance we are thankful. 

The second aspect is the government of God.  God is the Supreme Governor who rules the world because of his absolute authority and power to govern.  Since God created this world, He has the right to govern it.  At this Thanksgiving season we can give thanks for God's governing hand over us.

The third aspect is God's provision.  God, whose foreseeing of all things is based on his foreordination of all things, is the provider who prepares a future for His people.  God provided the ultimate need of His people by sending His only Son to redeem His people.  A true reason indeed to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day. 

The fourth aspect is concurrence.  God's plan is brought to pass by His sovereignty through human means.  The most notable example of concurrence is when God uses evil to accomplish good.  When his brothers sold Joseph, they intended it for evil, but God used the evil they did to bring about good. 

We live in a time when there is an abundance of material wealth, but it does not seem to bring any permanent joy or happiness.  The Thanksgiving season will bring temporary happiness for many as they give thanks for football, hunting, food, and many other self-indulgent desires.  But, Thanksgiving will be over and then the return of despair and hopelessness.  We are then challenged by the providence of God to believe and rest in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The providence of God is the forethought of God.  His plan and His preparation are good for those who walk in the ways of the Lord.  "God is able to make all grace abound in you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (2 Corinthians. 9:8).  Take time to thank God for His providential care.  Thank Him for sustaining, governing, and providing for all your needs.