Happy Thanksgiving!

HappyThanksgiving

Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!  

Although giving thanks is a daily part of my prayer, it’s especially befitting that one day of the year is recognized nationally.  It is my prayer that whatever situation you may be in now, or whatever challenging times you are facing at the moment,  that you will be thankful for the hope of a promising and better tomorrow.  Let your expectation be that of thanksgiving!

Thanking God for you… (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

 

Giving Thanks

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].   —I Thessalonians 5:18 AMP

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Like me, you probably learned the common courtesy of saying thank you as a child.  If you have children you probably taught them also, and if you have grandchildren, you’re probably teaching them too. In fact, like me, you are probably annoyed when this common courtesy is neglected by children today, and especially adults.

As children, it may have taken some of us awhile to develop the habit. And some may have learned quickly in fear of the consequences if they showed signs of ungratefulness or forgetfulness.  However, the circumstances surrounding our expression of thanks as children usually centered on our receiving something.  It was always exciting to receive toys, gifts, goodies, and other items and rewards just for expressing gratitude. 

Oh, remember the birthday presents, and the Christmas gifts? I vividly recall the exchange of gifts at Christmastime. The room reverberated with excitement as the rippling and crumpling of wrapping paper mixed with unrehearsed but harmonizing expressions of gratitude sent exhilaration off the chart. The atmosphere reeked with gratitude because everyone had received the gifts they desired. Our hearts were overjoyed and giving thanks was easy… 

Also, saying, “Thank you” in response to compliments about our appearance or apparel was equally important but not equally grasped as a child. Children must be taught how to be thankful. Occasionally, while in the market I hear the same training technique used years ago especially among African-Americans. If the child does not respond immediately after a compliment, the mother mediates by asking the child, “What do you say?”  She may have to ask the question again before the child remembers what to say, but not really knowing why he should say it because he’s accustomed to saying thank you only when he receives something tangible.

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Thankful for you

“I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)

It’s expected during this season to express gratefulness for material things— possessions, accomplishments, family and friends. Usually emphasis on the celebration of thanksgiving is based on being more fortunate (having more) than others. During this season we are gratified when we perform our good deeds as humanitarians by feeding the homeless and donating our time serving others that we label as “less fortunate.”   Yet for many, the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday is becoming more blurred by the foggy perception that people are less fortunate just because they have fewer material things.  Having things which others can’t afford, or don’t possess is not the only reason for celebrating Thanksgiving, and being grateful.  While we are thankful for all the tangible things that God has provided for us, we cannot forget to express thanks to God for each other—the most fortunate, more fortunate, and less fortunate. Okay, forgive my italicized sarcasm.

Although the “less” fortunate may not have all the things that some equate as reasons to give thanks, many of them have more than any of us think or can image.  What they have is invisible to the natural eye, and can only be experienced through a changed heart and an enlightened mind.  “Owning a lot of things won’t make your life safe” (Luke 12:15b). 

One of Apostle Paul’s distinguishing characteristics is his gratefulness to God for all who accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  His thanks is recorded in all his letters.  The above passage is the inspiration for this post.  It’s an example for us today. Not only should we be thankful for all Christians, but we must be thankful for all mankind… constantly praying with thanksgiving, that there will no longer be the spiritual less fortunate, but that all will receive the gracious gifts of hope and eternal life that come through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Yes; it’s expected during this season to express our thankfulness for things.  Our expression of thanks must be for more than just the possessions we have, but always for each other and the gracious gifts that God has given, which are often overlooked as being valuable reasons to give thanks. 

I thank God for you!