I’m taking a break from my “questions to consider” series to consider this uniquely American holiday that is coming up in just a few days. To be fair, God wants us to be thankful all of the time, but we tend, at this time of year, to put a little more thought into it.
So, what does God say about being thankful? Scripture has numerous examples of which I will share only a few. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
I also like Philippians 4:6-7 though it is so hard to do. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Finally, there are two verses, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament, similar to one another that I think express God’s thoughts about thankfulness. From I Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Then, from I Chronicles 16:34, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
God wants us to be thankful, but we often forget. We often forget to even look for His presence which I am most definitely guilty of. Last night though, I made a deliberate choice which brought me a tremendous blessing. Let me set the stage. There was a community Thanksgiving service I really wanted to go to. Illness and lack of desire made sure I would have no companions from my household. Now, this is a thing for me. I hate walking into somewhere by myself where the expectation is that others will be with me so I almost didn’t go. But, then I said to myself that maybe this was my chance to encounter God, on my own. So, that’s what I did. I went, sat by myself, and had an amazing time of worship on the back row. God spoke to me through the music and through the words, and I was able to focus on Him alone. He gave me insights and a deep sense of peace and thanksgiving. It was what I needed.
I’m very thankful for a God who is always present in our lives!