For God will save Jerusalem and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land. The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety. Psalm 69:35-36 (NLT)
Where is your heart as this Thanksgiving holiday approaches? Is it filled with worries about where and how this holiday will be celebrated? Or maybe it’s filled with hope and anticipation. It may be your first holiday without Dad or Mom. Or it may be one of many holidays spent apart from the one you pray for. Wherever your heart is, whatever the circumstances, I pray that it is a heart filled with thanksgiving.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5
Thanksgiving isn’t just a day on the calendar or a time of the year. Thanksgiving is a way of life, an attitude, a commitment we make to praise our Lord and King every day. It lives in our hearts and it shows in our prayers. It inhabits our praise and lights our path. It is demonstrated in our unconditional love for our mom or our dad, and celebrated in our forgiveness. It is our way to peace.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Nearly 400 years ago, the English colonists at Plymouth set aside a day of special thanksgiving for their first harvest. They lived in some of the most difficult circumstances that any group of people in America have ever lived under. They came to Plymouth in the winter of 1620 and nearly half of them died that first winter in their new country. They didn’t have adequate housing are even rudimentary medical care nor did they have a government or charitable organization that provided for them. They couldn’t go the grocery store and buy their turkey already cleaned and ready to cook or their vegetables in a steam bag. Whatever food was on their table, they had to grow and harvest themselves. Traveling to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving was impossible because most had left family and friends behind far away in England. These “pilgrims” had nothing. Nothing but a boundless faith in God. And with that, they had everything.
The Lord will comfort Israel again and have pity on her ruins. Her desert will blossom like Eden, her barren wilderness like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found there. Songs of thanksgiving will fill the air. …Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. Isaiah 51:3, 11 (NLT)
We need to live in a spirit of gratitude every day of our lives. A grateful heart pleases God. As much as He longs to give us good things, He also longs to hear our thanks. We are never without something to praise the Lord for in this life. First and foremost that He was willing to die on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have eternal life. We should thank Him for the hope He always calls us to and for the chance for communion with Him in prayer. Praise Him and thank Him for the people He has put in your life during this difficult season with your family to give you support and encouragement. Thank Him that He is in control and that you don’t have to worry about anything. Thank Him that He is more than willing to carry your heavy load when the burden becomes too much. And thank Him that he loves your dad or mom so much that He is willing to do whatever it takes to rescue them.
So I urge you today to sit down and make a list of all the things, all the situations, all the people that you are grateful for. Add to it each day as you find answers to small prayers as well as big. I’m guessing that by the end of the year your list will be pages long and your cup of thanksgiving will be overflowing.
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him….Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7 (NLT)
I pray that this Thanksgiving Day, you will all be able to set aside your worries and hurt to bow before the Creator and say “Thank You for saving me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your promises.”
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.