LISTEN: Why I Still Thank God for America (Daniel Whyte III, President of Gospel Light Society International)
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Over the past few years, America has experienced some of its toughest days — politically, economically, socially, and especially spiritually. Church attendance and baptisms in many denominations are on the decline. Revival still tarries. More and more people are classifying themselves as having no religious beliefs. Christians who hold long-standing biblical positions, such as opposition to homosexuality and the importance of praying in Jesus’ name, have been criticized and discriminated against. The Supreme Court, with our president’s approval, made homosexual marriage legal in the United States. The global wave of terrorism has still not abated. In fact, we were hit at home harder this year than any year since 9/11, with attacks on both coasts — including one which became the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Not to mention the killings and attempted killings of police and the wave of hostility that has come against law enforcement in this country. Also, the killing of black men by police has seized headlines again and again over the past few years, sparking protests, riots, and more violence, exposing the fact that America still has not transcended racism. Add to that the over 700 people who have been murdered in Chicago’s gang violence this year alone — an epidemic that seems to have no solution. In America today, millions of people remain unemployed and millions of families still have not recovered from the effects of the Great Recession. Perhaps, most depressingly, the nation was afflicted by a long presidential campaign season filled with scandal, lies, vitriol, and negativity, laying bare the discordant and divided status of these United States.
Considering all this, it is easy to see why many come into the holiday season feeling a bit down about the state of the Union. But, because the Christian’s hope is not of this world, we can rejoice on behalf of our country this Thanksgiving season. Yes, even with all that I have just named, I still thank God for America. In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said, “Intelligence, patriotism, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still necessary to adjust, in the best way, to all our present difficulty.”
In our passage today, we are reminded that being thankful is a choice. The Psalmist thrice summons us to thankfulness. “O give thanks unto the Lord… O give thanks unto the God of gods… O give thanks to the Lord of lords…” We are called to be thankful because of who God is not because of what is happening around us. But the Psalmist still gives us a reason to be thankful — “because his mercy endures forever.” Surely, it is accurate to say that God’s mercy has been extended to America. With all of our sin, our rebellion against Him, our idolatry, our crime, our violence, and our unwillingness to love and forgive each other, it is past time for God’s judgment. But, still, He shows us mercy, and the ship of state sails on.
So, why do I still thank God for America? Why should you thank God for America? Here are three reasons:
First, I still thank God for America because America is a land where the Gospel is still being preached clearly and without compromise. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.” There may come a day when true, biblical preaching is driven underground and where real Christians are jailed or killed for preaching Christ and Him crucified. But, it is not this day. If you want to hear the Gospel in America, you can still hear it. If you want to preach the Gospel in America, you can still preach it. Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” I thank God that there are still bringers of glad tidings in America. I thank God for those preachers and churches who are uncompromising in their proclamation of the Gospel and biblical principles.
Second, I still thank God for America because America is a land of great provision and great opportunity. Psalm 107:8-9 reads, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” God’s goodness is on rampant display throughout all of America. We are indeed the wealthiest nation on earth — and that is only by the grace and blessing of God. In the little town where I live, I can visit five grocery stores, three dollar stores, two drug stores, twenty or more restaurants, a dozen convenience stores — all within a five-minute drive from my house. On top of that, America is still a place where, if you have a dream and if you work hard in pursuing that dream, you can make a living and be successful in life. Many in this nation and around the world have their desires satisfied and their hunger filled because of the wonderful blessings of God on America. I still thank God for the provision, freedom, and opportunity that we have in this country.
Third, I still thank God for America because there are still good people in America — good people who love their neighbors and who just want to live and let live. Notice what Paul says in First Timothy 2:1: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.” Yes, that is God’s command: to give thanks for all men — all people — who live in our nation. There is an abundance of talk about how America is divided by race, religion, class, and education. But there are good white people, good black people, good Latinos, good Native Americans, and good Asians in America. There are good rich people and good poor people; good Millennials and good Baby Boomers. There are good Christians and good Jews. And, yes, there are good immigrants and good refugees who have come here seeking a better life. God, in has infinite sovereignty, has seen fit that we are all in this country together at this time in history. And we ought to give thanks for all who live in this great nation.
So, this Thanksgiving weekend and throughout this entire holiday season, as you gather with family and friends — some of whom you may have political, social, or religious disagreements — choose to be thankful for America and for the blessing that it is to live in this great nation under God.
In closing, the greatest blessing that any person can have in America or anywhere else in the world is a real relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Gospel message. He is God’s Son who came to earth to die on the cross for our sins so that we could be saved from sin, from the punishment of sin, and so that we could have a real relationship with God. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, please listen as I share with you how you can receive the greatest blessing of all.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.