“Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks unto the Holy One; give thanks because he has given Jesus Christ, His son” describe, for me, what Thanksgiving is all about. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It has been a special time for me to praise and give thanks to God for all the wonderful blessings that He has bestowed upon my life. I don’t think the Lord wants any pompous proclamation on Thursday as much as He wants a little humble service and heartfelt gratitude from each one of us every day during the year.
How do you express your gratitude to God and to others? How can you cultivate giving thanks with a grateful heart? Giving thanks with a grateful heart is not based solely upon circumstances. Many people mistakenly think that they can give thanks if or when… It is much easier to give thanks when things are going your way, when the bank account is full, when you are healthy, when your children are doing fine and when your marriage really is working. I Thessalonians 5:18 states, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
The first Thanksgiving was the celebration of the strength and joy that comes from praising and thanking God at all times, even in the very worst of times. The pilgrims landed on Plymouth Bay on December 12, 1620. Fifty-one out of the original one hundred and two died the first year. But in 1621 they gathered to give thanks to God for his blessings and provisions. That really and truly is the secret to giving thanks; it means to give thanks regardless.
Don’t surrender the leadership of your life to negative circumstances, events and people. Choose to cultivate and express thanksgiving from a grateful heart. Start looking for the good that God will bring out of the negative experience which you are presently going through. During a difficult time it is easy to forget God, his protection, provision, providence and his power. It’s easy to forget his blessings.
Giving thanks with a grateful heart brings healing and wholeness to life. Gratitude has a very therapeutic value. It is a wonderful antidote to depression and negativism and other emotional problems. When you are getting down, depressed and begin to wallow in self-pity make a gratitude list. Write down all the things that you are grateful for. Get involved in lifting the spirits of others, especially the less fortunate. Counting your blessings can transform melancholy into cheerfulness. Remember our life is a glass; we either can view it as being half-full or half-empty. It depends upon our perspective. When we are grateful for life it becomes easy to see the good that is always there. Gratitude nurtures within us a positive, joy-filled consciousness. May you celebrate the Thanksgiving principle this Thursday.
See you Sunday in church!