Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with feasting, family, and fun. Who doesn’t love to eat, laugh, and create memories with those you love? While each person has their favorite traditions and treats, I invite you to think about Thanksgiving a bit deeper this year; Giving thanks is more than a day – it’s a way of living. And there are plenty of reasons to be grateful to God!
1. BE GRATEFUL FOR WHO GOD IS.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34
Our God is good! Mulling over His unwavering character should put you in a place of constant praise. Take a look at a few:
- God is patient. Each time I mess up, He is not quick to pass judgment. The Lord quietly waits for me to be still and repent before Him (2 Peter 3:9).
- God is faithful. He will do what He says! Even when I am filled with doubt, He will be faithful to His Word (2 Timothy 2:11-13; Hebrews 10:23).
- God is love. He sent His Son to die for me so I can have a heavenly purpose on Earth. He loves me for who I am! (1 John 4:8; John 3:16).
- God’s grace. His kindness to me is bountiful! Although I am undeserving, He extends His hand of forgiveness and gives abundantly. When I understand the gravity of God’s grace, I cannot help but be grateful.
Having a greater understanding of who God is and realizing that we are His is a perfect starting point for gratitude.
2. BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT GOD HAS DONE.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” – Psalm 9:1-2
We move from God’s character to His actions. God doesn’t just keep His goodness, kindness, and joy to Himself – He desires to share it with us! God is a giver, and He gives the best gifts possible (James 1:17). Recount those blessings over the year:
- What are the unexpected ways God revealed Himself to you?
- Were there prayer requests answered?
- What has God done for you in obvious ways? What about the more minor (not insignificant) ways?
- How has God used people, resources, and opportunities for your benefit?
Once you start answering these questions, it’s hard to stop! Begin writing a gratitude list of God’s wonderful acts for you.
3. BE GRATEFUL IN EVERYTHING.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Now I admit, this one is tough. God calls us to give thanks to Him not only in the good times but in the trying times. A spirit of Thanksgiving when unfavorable or unforeseen circumstances arise is a challenge; the natural inclination is to grumble, not to be grateful!
Yet gratefulness is the key to godliness. If you trust that God is in control, you can give thanks even when there is pain lingering in your heart. You can praise Christ despite uncertainty about your future. You can be grateful no matter how severe the storm or trying the trial because “God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
By yielding to the Holy Spirit, our character grows to look more like Jesus. Our grateful disposition reminds us of the gift of God’s grace and keeps us focused on Christ. We can better represent Him in our attitude to those who don’t know the hope that we have. Like Paul, we learn the secret of contentment while waiting for prayers to be answered (Philippians 4:11-12).
I pray that Thanksgiving can kickstart a spirit of gratitude each day – even when it’s a gloomy sky and the temptation is to be grouchy instead. As you live the spirit-filled life, may God’s grace lavish you so richly that you can’t help but say,
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 107:1
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Blessings in Jesus’ Name,