Conntecting the Dots

Thanksgiving Day Thoughts

A thankful heart is a big deal to God. If it matters so much to Him, then it ought to matter to us.

Colossians 3:15-17 says, “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. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and our thoughts automatically turn to giving thanks for the abundance that God has given us throughout the past year. It’s easy to do so when the past year has brimmed with financial prosperity, strong relationships, and good health. It’s not so easy when the past 365 days have been wracked with sickness and loss. But according to these verses, God’s command to be thankful makes no differentiation.

Sometimes we express thanksgiving with a joyful heart; sometimes we do it through clenched teeth. Bottom line…we do it because God says so, not because we feel like it.  And God blesses obedience. He knows that giving thanks in everything (not necessarily for everything) changes our perspective.

What are you thankful for today? Take a few moments to ponder. Make a list. Here’s a starter, based on what I’m thankful for (in no particular order):

  • Vision to enjoy the beauty of nature
  • The ability to hear music and children’s giggles
  • Daily food
  • Clean water
  • Medical care available in our country
  • Physical mobility
  • A husband who is faithful to me
  • My children and their spouses
  • My grandchildren
  • The knowledge that God is with me as I grow older each year
  • Our home – a dry, safe, warm place
  • Friends who encourage and challenge me
  • Religious freedom
  • The Word of God
  • The joy/privilege of being in career ministry
  • Seeing answers to prayer
  • God’s financial provision
  • The promise of heaven

How does your list compare? I’d love to see it. And I’ve love to hear how giving thanks when you didn’t feel like it impacted your perspective.

May your day be filled with songs of thanks!

5 Responses to “Thanksgiving Day Thoughts”

  1. Rett Peters

    You know that it is easy to thank God for all the things you listed.
    I hope you can understand that it is not just those “good things” that happen that we should be thankful for. Remember that it says “In EVERY THING give thanks:

    1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

    That includes all those things that one thinks are not so good. Car accidents, sickness, poverty and tragedy are all things that God bestows upon us too.

    We must be thankful for all things that happen to us.

    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

    So next time something goes wrong, catch yourself if you start to swear or even just complain.

    God bless,
    Rett Peters

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thanks for your comment, Rett. I agree that we’re to give thanks in everything. I don’t think that’s the same as giving thanks for everything (car accidents, cancer, etc). When bad things happen….ie: a loved one dies from cancer….I don’t give thanks for that death. I do, however, give thanks that God is still in control and promises to comfort those who grieve.

      Giving thanks even when we don’t feel like it (in the tough places of life) changes us from the inside out. It instills within us a greater sense of contentment in our circumstances, I believe. When we thank God for His loving faithfulness in the midst of the hard stuff, doing so focuses our attention on Him and no so much on our trouble.

      Reply
  2. Darlene

    Grace,
    While I have a lot to be thankful for, as we all do, “giving” thanks ( echaristeo) – offering to God, is sometimes a sacrifice. However, when you look at life with gratitude to God it makes a difference – it’s life changing. A friend loaned me a book awhile back by Ann Voskamp, a very sensitive young Canadian writer who lives with her husband on a farm, home schools her six children, and some how find time to write. May be you have read her book – One thousand Gifts. After reading about her journey, thus far, in practicing giving thanks, it challenged me to begin my own thoughtful list of one thousand things to be thankful for, and also challenged me to live fully right where I am now. My list is still small – in the three hundreds, but it has made a difference just naming the things I am thankful for. Seeing them on paper brings joy.

    Blessings,
    Darlene

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thank you, Darlene. Good comments. I had the privilege of meeting Ann a couple of years ago. I’m so glad that God is using her message to reach countless people. Truly He values an attitude of thanksgiving….and so should we. Giving thanks, especially when we don’t feel like it, transforms us by washing away self-pity and discontentment. An internal makeover–we can all use one of those occasionally!

      Reply

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