1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” NASU
Today is Thanksgiving Day and many focus on time off from work, food, football, family gathers, and more. Thanksgiving Day was instituted for the purpose of “Giving Thanks” and “Being Thankful”. It was to be a day of reflection and declaring our appreciation for what we have. I’m not sure that is the case in the majority of homes in America or even the world for that matter. It, too often, is a football watching marathon and a food consumption binge rather than a time of setting aside a portion of our day to Reflect on that for which we should be Thankful.
I would like to challenge you to consider what you should be thankful for. You may be experiencing incredibly difficult times, materially, socially, relationally, economically, spiritually, or physically but rather than focus on your problem focus on your blessings. If you are so deep in despair that you can see nothing for which to be thankful, it is imperative that you shift your focus from within to without. Have you received Christ as your Savior? If so, no matter what you are now experiencing, you have much for which to be thankful. You have Eternal Life and is that not worth more than anything else?
I would challenge you to gather your family, preferably before your meal or your football watching marathon and collectively reflect on your blessings. The Psalmist entreated us to, “Enter His (God’s) gates with thanksgiving and His (God’s) courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (104:4). Let the reality of what you have received from Him resonated and pulsate in your heart and mind and join David, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trust in Him, and I am helped; therefore, my heart exults, and my with my song I shall thank Him.” (Psalm 28:7). Let the cry of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 reverberate through your being, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
I read a prayer recently that speaks volumes to my heart on this day:
“Oh Heavenly Father:
We thank you for food and remember the hungry.
We thank you for health and remember the sick.
We thank you for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank you for freedom and remember those in bondage.
May these remembrances stir us to service, that Your Gifts to us
may be used in service to others.
I am thankful that I live in a Free Nation. I am thankful that I am reasonably healthy. I am thankful that I have a dry bed to sleep in, a warm house to live in, clothes, to wear, food to eat, a car to drive, and can enjoy the fruit of my labors in peace. I am thankful that I have received forgiveness for my sin and that out of that freedom of forgiveness I can forgive. I am thankful for life now on earth and life that is to come for all eternity with God, in heaven. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul!
God, bless you as you enjoy this THANKSGIVING DAY and make it a DAY OF THANKSGIVING.