Why am I choosing to write this blog post is because there are 100 other ones. Are we only thankful around Thanksgiving? As I was praying this morning, I'm thinking how many live with a thankful heart every day? Is the last Thursday of November a reminder for us to be thankful, but we live the rest of our days NOT? Don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving for many reasons. Right now, I am anticipating some missionary friends to arrive at our home today from another community. I can't wait to gather with others to break bread, laugh, play some games, and give thanks all together. But, I think it's a very good thing to ponder on and ask yourself, "How thankful am I throughout the year?"
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:18
The Bible encourages us to give thanks in ALL circumstances; this should be our hearts cry. Yes, I know, there are things that occur in life that would be really hard to give thanks too; loss of a loved one, broken marriage, hardship with your children, and so forth. I have gone through those life problems myself, but I can honestly say, the Lord has constantly been the lifter of my head. In those times, He has invariably been with me to carry me through. As I pray and commune with him, He helps me see through the situation by shedding a different light on it. Soon, I begin to think His thoughts and not my own; my heart fills with thankfulness.
A year ago, I lost my father. To this day, I miss him greatly. In so many ways, my father spoke into my life. I always felt he was a go to person for life's wisdom. We could spend hours on the phone together talking on various subjects. Today, I don't have that. I can't call him anymore. All I have is those fond memories.
I could continue mourning my loss, but I choose not too. I am so thankful in so many ways. I am thankful that I had the kind of father I had. I am thankful for all the advice and insight he imparted to me. I am thankful for the, "You Can Do It," attitude he taught me. I am thankful that he was a hard worker, and I learned to do the same. I am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to pray over my father to receive the Lord as his savior. I am thankful that I know that he is in heaven waiting for his family. I am thankful knowing I will spend all eternity with him. See, thankfulness has a wonderful way to erase the pain and see through to the bright side. Only the Lord can do this. I consider it to be a wonderful gift from him to humanity to learn to be thankful in ALL circumstances.
I shared about thankfulness in difficult circumstances, but how about everyday life. It's so easy to get caught up in life itself. Work, family, church, running here, running there, and much more. Life can become mundane and somewhat repetitive. If we learn to pause and just consider life as we commune with God. We can see where He has been with us each moment. How He moved this mountain for us. How He brought this person into our life. How He helped you attain that promotion. How He gave you favor on a great deal at the local store. How your children are healthy and full of life. When you start seeing every step of life and giving thanks along the way, it just gives you a super charge to move forward.
Now consider one more thought with me. As you radically change your outlook, and thankfulness begins to ooze out of your very spirit to those around you. Just imagine what can happen in your family, neighborhood, community, or workplace. Where darkness was given free reign, now has a notice served against it. The hope of Jesus Christ can rise and rule over the hearts of those you touch. Why? Cause you dared to live a life of thankfulness.
So, today, I am not only encouraging you to be thankful for tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, but live a life of thankfulness in the Lord in ALL areas; moment by moment. Allow him to show you the way daily. I certainly believe as you do so, you will see a brand-new beginning in who you are. You will find something that you never saw before. It will be like a breath of fresh air racing through your whole being that screams thankfulness.
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