Thankfulness can change our choices, our actions, and our perspective. Many times we might feel as though we cannot or even want to give thanks. Even the experts tell us that a lack of joy, or we could say a lack of thankfulness can make us physically ill. Is it any wonder then that God ‘s holy Word tells us in Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”.
We have also heard the cliche “Those who see the glass as half empty and who take on life from a defensive posture are likely to experience more negative effects than those who see the glass as half full and who seek to make the most of their present circumstances.
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made: we will rejoice and be glad in it”. Many commentators have tried to apply this to a day of worship, but further study will reveal otherwise. We can apply this to our own lives: In THIS day, not tomorrow when the bills are paid, not next month after surgery, not next year when you move to a new home, or get a new car. TODAY is the day that the Lord has made, and he has given you something, or some things that you can give thanks for, that you can rejoice and be glad on this day. One author wrote: “there are two days in the week we do not have to be concerned about: yesterday and tomorrow.
So I ask, what do you have to be thankful for? What experiences are you having that brings thanksgiving to your heart? Yes, we celebrate this wonderful holiday every year with loved ones, but in the heart of the Christian we realize that each and everyday is a day of thanksgiving; because oh how wonderful to acknowledge an Almighty God, watching over all the earth, seeking to save and bind up. An Almighty God who forgives us so much!
Psalm 149:4-5 “For the Lord takes delight in His people. He will beautify the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds”. Do you sing aloud on your bed? When you open your eyes in the morning, what are you thinking?
A few mornings ago when I stepped of the train and was making the short walk to my destination, the season felt perfectly at it’s best with the sun shining so beautifully and the air so fresh and crisp. Immediately the words of this hymn came to my mind: “New every morning is the love, our wakening and uprising prove. Through sleep and darkness safely brought, restored to life and power and thought”. The hymn continued in my memory; “New mercies each returning day, hover around us while we pray. New perils past, new sins forgiven. New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven”. I love the part that says NEW mercies, hover around us while we pray. May we never place a small or low estimate on prayer. Brothers and sisters, friends, here is another reason to have a thankful heart; for a God who not only hears, but answers according to His Holy will.
So friends, I know you share my sentiments. We are thankful for Jesus. We are thankful for His Word. We are thankful for real family. We are thankful for a church family. We are thankful for opportunity that God sends us each day to represent Him. We are thankful for wonderful and faithful friends and for people who personally pray for us. This list could extend for hours.
When we consider what Jesus has done for us, let peace and gratitude be the only language of our hearts. If Jesus had not died our sacrifice and rose again, we should never have known peace or have anything to be thankful for. All of our lives we have been partakers of His heavenly benefits, recipients of the blessings of His priceless atonement. Even those who don’t believe in God have been partakers. So don’t forget to glance ahead, look at the BIG picture, do not look at the dreary and cold picture of this present world. There is a glance ahead that God has given in His Word. The apostle Paul also talks about this glance in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 and he places emphasis on the goal and the race we must run.
I would like to share Ecclesiastes 3:1-14.
God bless you during this holiday season, but most of all may He bless you as you thank Him every day.