Thanksgiving in Perilous Times

“In the LORD I put my trust; how can you [the unbeliever] say to my soul,
‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’? For look! The wicked bend their bow,
they make ready their arrow on the string,
that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
“The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Upon the wicked He will rain coals, fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.”
“For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.”
Psalm 11:1–7
Here, we see David responding to the fear-mongers of his day. Surrounded by wicked and unbelieving men, David is urged to flee like a bird to a safe refuge. Satan uses faithless men (such as our media) to seek to engender fear in the soul of the saint for fear and faith cannot coexist.
Three conditions of perilous times are presented:
  • the hatred and violent intent of the wicked against the believer,
  • the destruction of the “foundations” of a just and stable society, and
  • the inability of the children of God to impact society and effect change for good.
These conditions surround us today, as the very foundations on which this nation was built and by which it became great are systematically under attack by degenerate and dishonorable “leaders.”
But there is a foundation, which is immoveable and, in this, David finds his stability in unstable times. He is strengthened by the truth, “righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psa 97:2). This the fear-mongers cannot change.
To these scare-tactics, David responds with three truths, which are the real “foundation” of his life:
  • First, God is on His throne, and is judging the deeds of men.
  • Second, the wicked and the violent will not escape the righteous judgment that they deserve, and it will come in supernatural fury and in God’s own timing. There is a “cup” which the wicked first fill up with evil (Gen 15:16), and then must drink down to the dregs of God’s outpoured wrath (Rev 18:5–8).
  • Finally, David declares that a righteous Lord and Sovereign watches over His own with loving-kindness. The testing of the righteous (Rev 8:5) is for their growth, refining, and blessing in time—resulting in eternal reward. It must be said that the “righteous” are not so designated by any goodness in themselves (Rom 7:18). Rather, it is that righteousness of Jesus Christ that is imputed by God’s grace, and received by faith alone (Rom 4:3, Rom 4:24).
This short Psalm speaks clearly to us today. As we approach the holiday known as “Thanksgiving,” we too are surrounded by the wicked and the violent. The foundations of truth, honor, and sacrificial service by which our nation was born are all but destroyed. The atheist and the Islamists alike seek to instill fear, to create panic, to cause us to flee like an addled bird or a flock of panicked sheep. They remind us how powerless we have been to stop the onslaught of our deranged leaders against His eternal truth.
We need to stand boldly—as David did—in the conviction that Jesus Christ controls history. God does not design the events unfolding around the world for our defeat, but for our refining. But for those who have denied the truth of Jesus Christ, and scorned the warnings of His Word, the very conditions they have sought to bring about will suddenly take on supernatural force, turn against them, and bring about the just and righteous judgment of God upon them (see Psa 7:15; Psa 35:7–8; Psa 57:6).
I urge you, this Thanksgiving season, to turn away from the false “foundations” which are being destroyed, and rest in the firm “foundation,” which no man can shake. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Co 3:11).
It is in the security of His so-great salvation, in the faithful watch-care of the heavenly Father, and in the comfort and guidance of His Spirit, that we trust. Look beyond the horizon of this world—beyond the dark-gathering clouds—and you will see, like the golden glow of sunrise or sunset, the shining light of the Kingdom to come, and the coming King. It is only in this confidence and trust that we can boldly enter into the atmosphere of moment-by-moment victory celebration to which Paul urges us:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Th 5:16–18
May each and every one of you gather with your family this Thanksgiving, and rejoice in the gift of life in Christ, of an unshakeable foundation for eternity, and in the blessing of the love of Christ for one another. Remember that no scheme or strategy of Satan has the power to rob the trusting soul of the joy of the Savior!
In Thanksgiving to God for His unspeakable gift (2Co 9:15)!
Your servants in Christ Jesus,
Gene and Nan Cunningham

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