Psalm 100:4,5 – “Enter His gates with THANKSGIVING and His courts with praise; give THANKS to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.”
With Thanksgiving Day this week, it allows us to pause from the busyness of life and once again reflect on the goodness of God. As we gather with friends and family to feast on turkey and watch some football let us take time to be thankful for the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. We may avoid counting calories, but we do not want to miss out on counting our blessings.
All too often, our minds dwell on our problems, an uncertain future, faded dreams, and regrets. While there is no question that life does bring its share of challenges and disappointments, it also brings us relationships built, problems solved, promises kept, and dreams fulfilled.
An attitude of gratitude provides us a lifeline to carry us through the darkest moments of life. As we keep ourselves aware of God’s faithfulness and provision, nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26). That same spirit of thankfulness will cause our hearts to overflow with joy, even during the toughest of times. I learned this from my pastor while youth pastoring at his church for years. We had a growing church of over three thousand people which meant that we had bigger problems to deal with. Right after we finished building our three thousand seat auditorium the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart falls happened. Attendance dropped and it hit us financially. I watched and learned how to be optimistic during the toughest of times. To talk to and watch my pastor, you believed that this was the best thing that ever happened. We never missed a bill or lost sight of our vision. Gratefulness brought us through.
The spirit of Thankfulness will cause our hearts to overflow with joy.
Medical research has proven the impact that a positive attitude has on our physical and mental well-being. Reports prove that being thankful not only encourages the enjoyment of life but will add years of health to your life. Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions and life satisfaction, vitality, and lower levels of stress. Studies show that grateful people do not have fewer negative situations, they are just able to have a more positive optimistic outlook in their situations. As people of faith, we should make it a daily habit of being thankful. Thankfulness is our response to who our Father is, “For He is good and His mercies endure forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Because of who He is, Psalm 68:19 tells us “To Bless the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits and blessing.” He daily gives us blessings, which means that we should be thankful and grateful every day. Whenever I allow myself to get down and discouraged it is because I am forgetting who He is and all the blessings that He has given me.
Thankfulness will add years of health to your life.
I challenge you to sit down with pen and paper, write down all the blessings that are in your life. Starting with the truth of salvation through Christ and then being thankful for all the good people you are in a relationship with. So many times, we take these blessings for granted. This is so important because ungratefulness leads to forgetfulness. Take the time to express your thankfulness to God and to those that you love. Not just on this Thanksgiving Day but every day, because expressing gratitude is showing appreciation to our Father and to others who are gifts in our life. Now let your thankfulness spill over into jubilant praise!
My prayer for you today is that this Thanksgiving will become a way of life.
Pointing People to Jesus,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”