“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High” (Ps. 9:1, KJV).
We should ever remember that thanksgiving is the fruit of true, willing obedience. The Lord is the object of our worship, and to praise His holy name shows respect for His efficiency. God says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me” (Ps. 50:23).
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith relies upon God as being able and willing to save to the uttermost all who come to Him. As we speak of God’s power, we show that we appreciate the love that is so constantly shown us, that we are grateful for the mercies and favors bestowed on us, and that the whole soul is awakened to a realization of God’s glory.
The absence of praise and thanksgiving pleases the enemy of God. The line of demarcation between those who utter the holy name of God in blasphemy, and those who praise Him with heart and with voice, is clear and distinct. He who is truly converted will glorify God as he beholds the wonderful things of His creation, the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars, the changing beauty of the heavens. To him all nature will declare God’s mighty power. He will be led to give glory to His holy name.
Isaiah tells us what God is doing for us. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law” (Isa. 41:1-4).
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. . . . I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. . . . When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it” (verses 10-20).
What greater encouragement and assurance than this could the Lord give His loyal, commandment-keeping people? Have we not every reason for changing our attitude toward God? Is it not our duty to show the world that we appreciate the love of Christ? As we produce the fruit of thanksgiving, we bear living evidence that by connection with Christ we are placed on vantage ground.
God is the fountain of life and power. He can make the wilderness a fruitful field for those who keep His commandments; for it is for the glory of His name to do this. Thus He witnesses to Christianity. He has done for His chosen people that which should inspire every heart with praise and thanksgiving; and it grieves Him that so little praise is offered. He desires to have a stronger expression of praise from His people, showing that they know they have reason for manifesting joy and gladness.
This selection is from a Thanksgiving article published 120 years ago this month in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now Adventist Review). Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.