The Act of Thanksgiving

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As Thanksgiving is almost upon us, I know it is a time where most people celebrate with family and friends and think upon what they are most thankful for. We gather around the table, catch up with family, and eat a “couple” of bites of comfort food. It is probably my favorite holiday for various reasons. But as we talk about Thanksgiving, let’s think on a different scale other than a holiday. How about thinking of thanksgiving as an action performed every day? Do we practice gratitude and the act of thanksgiving on a daily basis? Do we have a heart of thankfulness? What about thankfulness to God?

If you are like me, you are saddened at the lack of thankfulness people show today. We live in a world that does not seem to be thankful for anything. Some kids forget to thank others or are not taught to do so by their parents. Today, hardly anyone will thank you for your business when you make a purchase. We also see that a simple act of common courtesy is looked down upon and sometimes corrected when expressing that courtesy. I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed that and honestly, it is appalling. Most importantly though, we forget to show thanksgiving to God. In this old world, we need to exchange bitterness, entitlement, and self for thankfulness. We are blessed people, some just fail to realize how blessed they are.

Currently, I am teaching Psalms in our ladies class. All through the Psalms, no matter what David was facing, we read about his outpouring gratitude to God. He was always in prayer to Him. We see David rise, fall, and rise again, but always thankful for God’s refuge. There are so many examples in Psalms alone that we read about. Even though we are not to this chapter yet in our class, the first verse that comes to my mind about thanksgiving to God is Psalms 100:4-5, which says “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” This truth and attitude are what carried David through the hardest of times in his life. He knew thankfulness was a necessity to be pleasing to God. Just like David, it is of great significance to God, if in the midst of great trials and circumstances, that we are thankful. We rob ourselves of blessings by not thanking Him for what all He has done, is doing, and will do for us. David is a great example of the kind of attitude we should have when it comes to thankfulness.

God has blessed us abundantly, and I think we tend to forget just how much. We should show thankfulness for everything, no matter the circumstances, and prayer is a great place to start. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” It is saying, in everything, whether good or bad, give thanks. We have this great way to communicate with God. How selfish are we to not give thanks to Him? Remember, David always prayed. He knew God would deliver him from his enemies. He was a man after God’s own heart. Could you kneel in prayer, still thanking God after all the turmoil you have faced and are facing in this life? Well, David did! I hope we can have the same attitude when we face trials along the way. Showing true thankfulness honors God and strengthens our faith, as well as shows signs of contentment. Thankfulness is the key that turns any situation around because it changes you, your outlook, and most importantly your attitude.

By choosing to be thankful and obedient, we live in a way that honors God, and we open up our lives to even more blessings. Complaining does not honor God, being thankfulness does.

Being thankful is a quality that should show in our lives as followers of Christ. Being thankful is a continuous way to live. It’s a courteous action to show. Always be thankful – not occasionally, not once a week, but always.