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The Greatest Reason to be Thankful

by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries

Thankful every day

Just how thankful are we? — Really! This is the season of Thanksgiving. But is it all about the food, family, and football? Do you actually give thanks on Thanksgiving? Stop for a moment and think about the last time you felt thankful. When was the last time you felt thankful to God? What does God hear from you the most: a long wish list, complaints, or thankfulness? In Romans 1:21, Paul tells us that one can know God, but not honor him or give thanks to him and as a result they became futile in their thinking and foolish in their hearts.

Why is it that out of 365 days in a year we have one day set aside to give thanks? We should be thankful every day. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says we are to give thanks in all circumstances. God does not just bless on Thanksgiving Day, but he pours out his blessings on us every day – so we should be thankful every day – in all circumstances. Psalm 34:1 says “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

The Psalmist wrote: “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Perhaps we need to follow Philippians 2:5, which says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” It was Christ Who, knowing exactly what lay ahead, gave thanks on the very night in which He was betrayed.

To be truly thankful requires us to recognize that what you have you could not produce yourself – it was a gift. It requires humility and acknowledgment of both the gift and its source.

The Source of our Thankfulness?

The Bible clearly instructs Christians to fix our eyes on the Heavenly Father, the true source of every good thing in our lives. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the source and perfecter of our faith. He is the One who graciously gives us “good things” of all kinds, and our natural response should be thank Him specifically and continually. Psalm 86:12 says, “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Apart from anything that God does, God is simply great in character and power.  Isaiah 6:3 says, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” God is “holy,” that is, in a higher and different class than us; God is so awesome that it is beyond us to even fathom it. Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.”

The Cause of our Thankfulness

Psalm 92:1-2 says, “It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And your faithfulness every night.” Here we have cause to give God thank because of his lovingkindness and faithfulness. From 1 Corinthians 1:4, we find we can be thankful for the grace given to us in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The greatest reason we have to be thankful should be the price that Jesus paid for us when he died on a cross in our place so that we could have eternal life. John 3:16 says, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Without Jesus dying on the cross for us, redeeming us, and forgiving our sins, we would be hopeless, lost, and bound for hell. But because of his faithful love to us, he endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

The Result of our Thankfulness

When we are thankful, our focus moves off selfish desires and off the pain of current circumstances. Expressing thankfulness helps us remember that God is in control. Thankfulness, then, is not only appropriate; it is actually healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Truly, we have an abundant life (John 10:10), and gratefulness is fitting.

However, a mere attitude of thankfulness is not enough. When we truly acknowledge all that God has done for us, the result should be an outpouring of thankfulness that leads us to praise him, which leads us to worship him. In Deuteronomy 10:12, Moses said, “what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? And in 1 Samuel 12:24, it says, “Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you.”

The result of our thankfulness is worship.

This year, as we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, remember the greatest reason you have to be thankful is Jesus — the who saved you, redeemed you and forgave you….and allow your thanksgiving to become an act of worship.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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Deuteronomy 10:12

Deuteronomy 10 12