Advertisers love to proclaim Christmas in July so we’ll buy more stuff. Now how about Thanksgiving in August? The official Thanksgiving holiday is over 3 months away, but I’ve decided to celebrate God’s goodness a few months early. After all, giving thanks to the Lord is always in season.
Let me share one of the things God has used to help me escape and stay out of the pit of a negative outlook on life. About a year and a half ago, our pastor challenged us to write down at least one thing we were thankful for each day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I accepted the challenge, and wrote a few items down daily for which I was thankful. I decided not to stop at Christmas and have been keeping up my “thanksgiving journal” ever since. I’ve experienced much more of the Lord’s joy since starting this practice.
I hope you have never fallen into ugly habits like whining, complaining and self-pit-y, but they have been too much a part of my personal past. I do praise and thank God and also thank my pastor for helping me start this one simple thing that has made such a difference in my life.
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15, New Living Translation)
Psalm 33:1 “Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.” New Living Translation (NLT)
I’m troubled by disappointment sometimes. Things don’t turn out like I’d thought or hoped. People don’t do what I think is good or what I’d expected or wished.
The answer for me today is Psalm 63:3 and 5: “Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. 5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” New American Standard Bible
Father, because Your love and kindness is better than life itself, and You lavish that on me, my soul will be more than satisfied (one translation says “satisfied as with the richest foods) even when people and things disappoint. Amen.
So many gifts from God—
I cannot count them all,
But I can make a start.
I’ll list both great and small.
How can I draw closer, Lord?
How can I love You more
And give glory You are due?
I’ll consider all I have to thank You for.
Psalm 107:8-9 “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” New King James Version
Yes, I do want to have a continual attitude of gratitude because of all God has done. He is truly good. I see it more and more. He satisfies my longing soul as I believe and trust Him more. He fills my hungry soul with goodness as I hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matthew 5:6)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” NLT
The title for this post comes from the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” written by Martin Rinkart. A beautiful video of the hymn is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA9cQ5X87P4 . (An ad precedes the video.)
I’m just now getting a chance to read Pastor Tom’s Thanksgiving sermon, and even though it’s after Thanksgiving, I’m re-blogging it since I believe it’s a timely message for any time of year.
Giving thanks is a way to really take hold of, and receive, what God has done and who he is. It is a key component in faith, grace and peace.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Thanksgiving 2014 Sermon
Thanksgiving has become an American holiday and tradition, but it does originate from deep, Christian spiritual roots. One of the things that I find interesting is that many of significant Thanksgiving celebrations early in the history of America took place in the middle of very difficult times.
The “original thanksgiving” took place in the New England settlement of Pilgrims during the sixteen-hundreds. It is true that at the time they celebrated, they had a good harvest. But they had just gone through an incredibly difficult…
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“Lead us not into temptation….”
Lord, please lead me always away from self-focus. There regrets, blaming, anger, pride, and self-pity lurk. These funnel into a slippery slide that winds ever downward into depression.
Teach me to walk on the solid path of humility and gratitude. Peace and joy flourish like flowers at the edges of this road. In this place of thankfulness, my focus turns to You, Lord, and seeking Your glory and honor. There my heart desires that others experience Your love also. I turn my eyes away from what I can do, what I look like to others, my past poor choices, and what I think will make me happy. [Psalm 119:37—“Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” (New Living Translation)]
When I’m tempted to stray onto the me-focus trail, please open my ears to hear Your voice warning, “Wrong way! Come back to Me.” Amen.