Today’s Scripture: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1 Timothy 2:1-3

A child dies in sub-Saharan Africa. Christians are tortured in Saudi Arabia. Missiles are launched in North Korea. ISIS is terrorizing the Middle East. The grave news from overseas flies in so fast, it’s almost too hard to digest. In fact, we often ignore world news just so we can stay sane.

But sometimes we should pay attention, if only so we can remember to thank God that we’re Americans. Usually, we reserve our praise for times like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day or other occasions. But sometimes its good, in the dead of winter, in the middle of February, as we’re scraping ice and snow from our cars, to thank God for the privilege of living in America.

Sure, there are a lot of problems with our country. So many are the ills that they could fill volumes of books. But we still live in the greatest country on the earth. We have unprecedented opportunity to live out our faith without repression. Many people around the world live in fear for their life. They worship God in secret. They wonder where their next meal will come from.

While we have problems, we never face the hardships of most of the world’s population. So rather than focusing on the bad, let’s enjoy the good, and thank God for the wonderful privilege of being an American.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder