Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giving Thanks And Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, as we all know, is a holiday which takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. You probably also know that the first Thanksgiving was held by Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621. You may or may not know that it was declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

But while Thanksgiving is one day out of the year, giving thanks is an act, which is not relegated to one certain day.

God asks us to give thanks in these ways -
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy, and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7) 

This verse is written in five different places!! God must really mean it -
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1, Psalm 118:29, Psalm 136:1)

It's also written twice more -
Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever. (2 Chronicles 20:21)
Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever. (Jeremiah 33:11)

So, I think it's pretty clear that we are supposed to give thanks, and that we are supposed to do it at all times, in all circumstances, whether in prayer, song, or action. And we have a lot to be thankful for! As you read in these verses, God gives us victory, he protects and strengthens us, he makes us happy, he helps us, he loves us, and he is always good.

But don't forget to be thankful for other things, too! Like family and friends, a home, a job, a vehicle, food, clothing, even fun things like gifts and toys, and things we tend to take for granted, like sunshine, snowflakes, pets, and especially freedom!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving and draw closer to Christmas, remember to stop and think about what you're thankful for every once in a while. It will help you to see how much you have, rather than how much more you want.

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