For some people, Thanksgiving is just a holiday when we eat lots of turkey and watch football. But Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday. As Christians, we should give thanks to God every day for what He has done and continues to do in our lives.
I’ve seen people have a pity party because of what they haven’t accomplished instead of praising God for their successes. They focus on what they don’t have or what they haven’t done. Some are waiting for life to improve before they change their attitude.
We don’t have to be completely satisfied with everything in our lives to be thankful. Every one of us is a work in progress. Even if we’re not where we want to be, we can thank God that because of His saving power, we’re not where we were!
God has done so much for us. But sometimes it seems like we’re ungrateful. Some of us say, “Well, You’ve done that, Lord. Now give me this.” But instead, we should say, “Thank You, God, for what You’re doing for me now. And thank You for the greater things that lie ahead.” No matter where we may or may not be spiritually, financially, physically, or emotionally, it’s never OK to have an ungrateful attitude.
Perhaps you’re at a point where everything in your life seems to be going wrong. You’re struggling to find something to be thankful for. Are you alive? Do you have a well body? Even if your body isn’t well, Jesus healed you over 2,000 years ago. That’s something to praise God about!
Let’s decide to have an attitude of thanksgiving every day.
Colossians chapter 1 gives believers many reasons to be thankful.
COLOSSIANS 1:12–14 (NKJV)
12 Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
We can always thank God for saving us and forgiving our sins. We can be thankful for the unfair advantage we have as a result of the Greater One who lives in us and leads and guides us. It doesn’t matter how bad a situation looks—we are never alone.
Too many times, however, we don’t thank God for what we have. We’re too busy telling Him what we don’t have. We have so many good things. We need to thank Him for those. What parent wants to give their children more stuff if they haven’t shown gratitude for what they already possess?
We see something about this in the Book of Philippians.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Notice that verse 6 says whenever we ask God for something, we’re supposed to do it with thanksgiving. We can say, “Lord, thank You for what You’ve already given me. I need these things too. But thank You for what You’ve already done.” We can be thankful and happy. Then after we’ve asked with thanksgiving, the peace of God will overtake us.
One of my favorite examples of the power of maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving is found in Acts chapter 16.
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Paul and Silas had been badly beaten and thrown in jail for preaching the Gospel. They didn’t know if they would live to see another day. But in spite of their situation, they began to pray and sing praises to God. They knew that their God was great, and He was more than able to deliver them out of any circumstance.
It would have been easy for Paul and Silas to pout at that moment. We’ve all pouted when things don’t go our way. But faith doesn’t pout. It only makes the situation and everyone around you more miserable.
Faith shouts! In the midst of their battle, chained to a wall with their backs still bleeding, Paul and Silas chose to shout praises to God. They chose to maintain an attitude of thanksgiving. It didn’t matter what the situation looked like because faith knows it has the answer when it prays. That same night, God delivered Paul and Silas from their captivity (v. 26).
Paul wrote a lot in the New Testament about being thankful. He faced many trials—stoning, shipwrecks, imprisonment, rejection, and constant persecution—but through it all, he remained thankful.
Think of what we could do if we had Paul’s attitude. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we began to thank God for everything He has done in our lives. It’s easy to thank the Lord when everything is going great. But can we praise and thank Him when things aren’t easy? It’s when we face trials and tribulations that we find out what we’re really made of.
Let’s decide to have an attitude of thanksgiving every day. Begin to thank your Father God for what you have and for the people He has placed in your life. Thank the Lord daily that your sins are forgiven, you have the Greater One dwelling in you, and you are on the road to Heaven. Remember, no matter what you’re going through, you have already made it because God said we are overcomers in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:37). So give Him thanks!
Make Thanksgiving a Habit
Kenneth W. Hagin
Many bad habits can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually harmful to us. Giving thanks to God, on the other hand, is a good habit! In fact, expressing thanks should be such a habit that we do it automatically. As believers, we shouldn’t need to be reminded to thank a God Who has blessed us beyond measure. Thanksgiving should naturally flow out of us. We should be so full of appreciation for everything He has done for us that we just can’t keep silent. And the best reason to thank our Heavenly Father is simply because we love Him.
Craig W. Hagin
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