Pacific Union "All God's People," November 17, 2023 S7 E23


In this year’s Thanksgiving Special, we reflect on the story of Job.

Job is a man pushed to his limits. The story of Job is meant to help us think about life in difficult and
extreme circumstances. Job's story is one of great distress. But at Thanksgiving we can turn to a verse in Job that seems to be as full of gratitude and hope as any in the Scriptures. Job 36:26: “How great is God—beyond our understanding!”

How great is God—beyond our understanding!

Job 36:26

I love the “How great is God” part of that text! And at Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude for God’s
greatness and abundance. But I am also interested in the last part, the “beyond our understanding”
phrase. Lately there have been so many things that go beyond my understanding.

At Thanksgiving, we count our blessings, express our gratitude, and affirm all the ways in which we have
experienced goodness. But there are also things beyond our understanding to contend with.

And that’s why the second part of the text is so important. Our faith is not just about looking back over
past blessings, or even about being thankful for where we are right now—although both of those things
are so important. But what about the things that are impossible to be thankful for? For the losses, the
setbacks, the devastating circumstances?

In those dark moments, as Job so eloquently describes it, there is one who loves us and who goes
“beyond our understanding.” It is from the darkness that Job makes this stunning declaration: God's love
and care go beyond the present moment. God's care even embraces the future that is unknown to us. God's love goes over and beyond!

Thanksgiving provides us a milestone of gratitude in the autumn of the year. We count our blessings and
express our thankfulness. But we are not unaware of our losses and disappointments. Thanksgiving can
also be an anchor for hope.

In spite of tough times, in spite of uncertainty, in spite of difficulties—at Thanksgiving we look to the
future with hopefulness. We look at what we’ve survived, we gather our greatest blessings near to us,
and we greet the coming of the darker days of the winter ahead with hope and confidence. That's

From All God’s People, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!