Yes, the question mark is intentional.
What does your Thanksgiving look like this year? For most, you may not see those that you love at the traditional family gathering, and it seems another “lockdown” is impossible to avoid.
The news continues to highlight our current state of fear and political distress. I have to admit I am a recovering news-aholic. There was a time I could not go a day without watching the news morning, noon and night. I was hooked. It was like a reality TV show I could not miss. Sadly, it was real.
Social media has the same affect. What was created to be a source of staying connected has become a place for people to hide behind their profiles and lash out at one another if you differ in opinion. This has become the acceptable norm. Friends are unfriending each other at warp speed due to their political or pandemic stance. Family members are no longer speaking.
You cannot seem to escape the conversation … pandemic, politics, addiction, mental health and death. Not a lot of joy comes from any one of these conversations.
This intense divide is making history.
So how can one be happy and have a heart filled with gratitude?
Well … these times are written in God’s book of truth; this is not a surprise. The traditional Christian values (which both our countries were built upon) are being thrashed at a rapid rate. In a world where we only rely upon ourselves the chaos makes sense.
We have placed unrealistic expectations on the government, police, doctors, teachers, etc. to save our health, families, business, and environment. As a result, we are living on a very weak foundation. As humans, we all have our limits.
I am grateful that our God does not.
God is truly all powerful. I am grateful that no matter what happens in this world, we have the power of God and Jesus’ resurrection. The Lord will grant us an inheritance and sustain us through eternity.
Through faith, we are shielded by God’s power. I am grateful that no matter how weak or ill-equipped we may at times feel, we can rely on the power of God.
Thanksgiving—the giving of thanks—to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive marks of the believer in Jesus Christ. Thankfulness is the natural outflowing of a heart that is attuned to God and is the mark of a joyous Christian.
We must not allow a spirit of ingratitude to harden our heart. Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.
Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness even in the midst of trials and heartaches. Always giving
thanks for everything—no matter the circumstances! Thanksgiving is not a once-a-year celebration, but a daily reality that will change your life and make you a joyful person in every situation.
Are you constantly preoccupied with what you do not have? Or have you learned to thank God for what you do have?
Gratitude helps us stay grounded. It is our foundation in the severe stormy conditions of life. It helps us align with what is important and stops us from being swept away in emotion with the unrighteousness that surrounds us. Gratitude is seeing the best when perhaps the worst feels like it is at the forefront.
God’s Truth: “In every situation (no matter the circumstances) be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We can all agree that Thanksgiving looks much different this year. It reminds me that we cannot take people, time or events for granted. Things change and will continue to do so as we travel the journey of life. I am grateful knowing that the one constant in such uncertain times is God.
When we consider the sinless sacrifice of Jesus, it ought to move us at our very core. He was innocent. Free from guilt and transgression, yet He stood in my place and suffered in my stead. As J.R. Baxter wrote, “My precious Savior suffered pain and agony, He bore it all that I might live.” How thankful we should be for Jesus, the sinless sacrifice.
I am also grateful that we have the technology to bring our family and friends close. No, it will never compare to the hugs, conversation and laughter in person, but we can still connect and see one another. Imagine if we couldn’t.
I will always be grateful for the workers on the front line, our doctors, nurses, EMT’s, fire fighters, teachers, military, grocery and retail stores, restaurants, pastors, farmers, truck drivers … the list goes on. They are sacrificing themselves and their families for YOU.
There is much to be grateful for.
When we purpose to thank God for everything that He allows to come into our lives, we keep bitterness at bay. Remain thankful and positive for there is no enemy outside our soul. The real enemies live inside us (anger, pride, greed, fear and hate). Avoid them all and enjoy a peaceful abundant life.
Yes, the exclamation mark is intentional.
There is a Purpose. There is a Promise. There is Hope.