What a great holiday !! Great time with family, great food, great opportunity to remember to stop the whining and be grateful for all God has done for us ! For many it will be a great feast, lots of football, and gained weight ! But a verse that has always struck me equally with clarity as well as conviction is “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess.5:18). As we come to this holiday consider what the Lord had Paul write here and let it permeate your festivities and thereafter.
It states that we are to be grateful “in everything”. That is not easy, for not everything that enters our life we see this way, at least initially. It is a daunting imperative and whenever we see these it prompts us to lean on Someone higher than us for the grace and perspective to think so. If a trial comes we’re told to think thankfully. And why shouldn’t we? Aren’t they all temporal? Aren’t they all allowed by the Lord to better us? So, be thankful, even if it’s not what you’d like dealt you today.
To “give thanks” means we deliberately make the conscious choice to render appreciation for what God has given us and tell Him so. When God hears you utter even the simplest thanks out of a sincere heart it smells better to Him than the best pumpkin pie ! And the “will of God” is often a source of wonderment at times to many folks but here is crystal clear. Interesting that the command to be thankful is so plainly defined as in His grand purposes for us. And also interesting that we have to be commanded, which means its not a “given” for us !! To be less than thankful is to place yourself outside of God’s explicit purpose in your attitude and actions and to forfeit His special blessings.
Last, “concerning YOU”. God makes this command to be thankful very personal so we don’t miss the application and shove it off to someone else who we think has it better than us. We all go through ups and downs and sometimes we’re better or worse off than others yet that doesn’t change the Divine charge here to be a person of Thanksgiving the whole year ! Enjoy this great Christian holiday and let God enjoy you as His child being a person typified by thanks !!