Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, It’s the day that is set aside for time with family, entirely too much food, football games, and for expressing what we are thankful for. That’s nice. It’s tradition. But taking time to think about, and express what we are thankful for one day a year is not what pleases our Heavenly Father. What brings joy to His heart is our attitude of thankfulness every day of the year. It’s an attitude of the heart, and a lifestyle.
- A thankful heart enables us to grow intimately close with our Savior.
- A thankful heart rejoices.
- A thankful heart prays continually.
- A thankful heart gives thanks in all things, knowing that if God has allowed it, it is His will for us (to teach us, refine us, to shape us into His image. See 1 Thess. 5:16-18)
I’ve said before that being thankful is not denying the reality of life’s hard trials and tribulations. But in them we choose to humble ourselves before Almighty God and seek His wisdom, His strength, and His grace to endure through it in a way that brings Him glory. We rejoice in Him, our Savior who is with us right in the midst of the messiness.
God is our refuge an strength (mighty and impenetrable to temptation), a very present and well proved help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 AMP
Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17 AMP
Being thankful is choosing to not grumble and complain about everything that irritates or annoys us. When we do – as we all do at some point – we must humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness from God first, then maybe from a family member or friend who we’ve been complaining to.
The point is not that we never complain. As long as we are in these human bodies we will always have a war between the flesh and the spirit. The point is that we not allow the negative to have reign over our thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.
Lest you think I sit here piously typing away like I’ve got this all down, let me tell you a little bit about my day: I took a break from writing this to take a shower, do some laundry, and get some lunch. I was confronted with a situation that was not my responsibility to take care of, but since it had not been addressed it created another problem. So if I needed it fixed, I was the one who had to be inconvenienced by spending close to an hour trying to deal with it. Time I really did not have to spend today. I then received a phone call that only further added to my irritation. Note that. An irritation…not a crisis. Sad to say, had you got on my nerves right then it would not have been pretty. I sent a not so nice text to my son (who was supposed to have corrected first problem so it did not grow into a bigger one…and he didn’t). Then my dear sweet husband called with some news…something that I had already said “no” to. The poor man had to listen to me go on and on about how I could NOT deal with all this AND cook Thanksgiving dinner too!!! Thanksgiving. Hmm….
I had to humble myself and ask my Heavenly Father to forgive me and change me. I asked Him for wisdom to deal with what was in front of me. He is so patient and merciful. I apologized to my son who, bless his heart said he understood. He took care of his end of the problem. I had to apologize to my hunny too. Sometimes, we just have to submit to their leadership ladies and trust the Lord to work it out. They do have that right to make the final call sometimes. It’s not always up to us…and our way.
When I write something, it’s not because I have it all figured out and have it all together. It’s usually because I’m right where the Lord is putting me to the test and teaching me. My circumstance did not immediately change. One is getting fixed, the other I have to deal with it and mostly change my attitude about it. But I can…and am thankful in all of it. Thankful I started writing this today, and the Lord used it to put me to the test. Thankful I quit throwing a hissy fit and let Him change my outlook and my attitude. My prayer has always been that I would be a woman of grace and dignity. Unfortunately I fall far short of that at times. But I am thankful God always brings me back to Himself and helps me to obey and do what is right…even when I may not feel like it!
We have to always remember it is God who sustains us. It is God who gives us strength when we have none. It is God who saves us. When we are thankful to Him for who He is and all He’s done, and does for us…then in our gratitude we can’t help but praise Him! In praising Him our hearts are filled with joy.
We must praise Him daily. We must be thankful daily. For when we do not practice thankfulness…our joy dies.
In the absence of thankfulness…joy dies.
That does not have to be true of us. We need to read and know God’s word, and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to live what we know each and every day.
Constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], Romans 12:12 AMP
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Psalm 100:4
I pray you each have a blessed Thanksgiving and a joyful heart filled with praise.