Give Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 (NLT)

I know that mom or dad will be doing their best to make this a special holiday for you. Maybe you’re going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Or maybe aunts and uncles will be coming to your house. Maybe you’re going to spend the day dishing out a Thanksgiving meal for the less fortunate in your community. Whatever your plans for the day, do it with thanksgiving in your heart and praise on your lips.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:4-5 (NLT)

Thanksgiving is a special time of year but it should also be a way of life. It should be in your heart every day of the year, not just when we are reminded to be thankful. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul tells us we should Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)

Yes, that did say be thankful in ALL circumstances. I know there are some things that are just hard to be thankful for. Maybe this Thanksgiving finds you in a new place or in new circumstances. Maybe this holiday finds you without the one you pray for once again. Maybe you can’t stand the cranberry salad that Aunt Betty always makes you take a little bite of. But even if the situation is difficult, we can still be thankful.

Start a list today of all that you have to be thankful for. Add at least one thing to it every day until the end of the year. I’m guessing by the time this year is over, your list will be pretty long. Then when you get discouraged or disappointed, pull that list out and read over it. Remind yourself of all that the Lord has given you to be thankful for. It won’t be long before you are praising rather than pouting.

Can’t think of much to be thankful for? Ask the Lord to open your heart and open your eyes to see all the blessings in your life. First and foremost, you belong to Christ. He has redeemed you, saved you, loved you, and blessed you. He gives you comfort when things aren’t going the way you would like. He gives you strength when you feel like giving in and giving up. He hears and answers your prayers. He works on your behalf in ways you can never imagine. He gives you peace in the midst of turmoil.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Be thankful for your family — your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Be thankful for your friends at school or across the street. Be thankful for God’s provision of the things you need. Be thankful for your church and your Sunday school class or youth group. Be thankful for the teachers at school who truly care about you and your future. Be thankful that you live in a country where you can freely and openly worship. But most of all, be thankful that we serve a God who cares about us and about everything that is happening in our lives. This same God who names the stars, knows the number of hairs on your head. Can you imagine that? Kind of overwhelming, isn’t it? Kind of makes you thankful?

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone. For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them. Psalm 109:30-31

God bless,

A Stander in Nebraska

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