Thanksgiving Day is a unique tradition when America sets aside one day in the year to stop our busy lives, reflect on our blessings, and give thanks to God as one nation and one people.
This year, especially, we have strong reminders of how blessed we are by God as a nation, and that He sometimes uses the unlikeliest of people to accomplish the greatest of things.
After all, it’s hard not to appreciate everything that’s going right for our country this year. And, while you might not be where you want to be this holiday season, you’re probably in a much better situation than you used to be. That meaningful difference is thanks to the leadership of President Trump, who is himself guided largely by faith.
In fact, we can all learn a valuable lesson from President Trump about what a genuinely giving spirit looks like.
I’ll never forget the time I visited then-businessman Donald Trump in New York City with a friend of mine in ministry. After hearing about the work she was doing to minister to street prostitutes and abused women, Mr. Trump immediately called out to his assistant to retrieve his checkbook and cut a check, making a $10,000 donation to my friend’s organization.
That’s just one example of a phenomenon I witnessed time after time in my interactions with Donald Trump: his willingness to share some of his significant wealth on behalf of worthy causes without seeking recognition or adulation.
Despite perceptions and the caricature that the media use to portray him, that same humble outlook has characterized President Trump’s approach to his duties in the Oval Office.
Evangelicals like me have grown accustomed over the years to feeling used by the political process. Every politician appeals to us during the campaign season, but most of them then proceed to ignore us once they get into office. That’s not the case with this President, who intently supports all people of faith.
He recognizes that when it comes to charity and serving people in need or in crisis, churches are more effective than government agencies, and should be given the freedom to do what they do best. For instance, President Trump supported charitable groups that sent food and supplies to Puerto Rico after the deadly hurricane in 2017, because he knows that faith-based ministries are uniquely positioned to strengthen families and communities.
This is a fundamental trait in the man that comes directly from his personal faith. Most people aren’t even aware of his faith-driven decision making because he doesn’t make a public spectacle of his devotion to God.
Other politicians go out of their way to smile for the cameras when they head to church, but President Trump is clearly mindful of Jesus’ teaching in 1 Samuel 16:7, “that while man looks on the outward appearance, the Lord looks on the heart.”
We have bountiful blessings that continue to grow this year in America. Among them is our spirited leader who always remembers to give thanks to God for the blessings bestowed on our country and on him. For that, and for so many other reasons, we have so much to be grateful to God for this Thanksgiving Day.
Paula White is the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center.