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Thankful…Always.

Weekly Devotionals

Thankful…Always.

It isn’t often that I write devotionals for The Hub, which is why I find it serendipitous that this is the 3rd time “my turn” has landed during the Thanksgiving holiday.  In reflection and review of my previous devotionals, the message of thanksgiving focused on themes such as identity and praise.  And though those are things we need to continually recognize, this particular Thanksgiving season, I want to meditate on the challenges of giving thanks in ALL circumstances.

In a recent personal devotion that I came across written by the late Billy Graham, he spoke about the dangers of thanklessness.

“An ungrateful heart is a heart that is cold toward God and indifferent to His mercy and love.  It is a heart that has forgotten how dependent we are on God for everything.”

A bit harsh?  Harsh because of the reality of it?  But what if we recently lost our job or lost a loved one?  Our last inclination is to be thankful, no?  And as far as being “cold towards God and indifferent”?  Don’t we have the right to be?  We are good people, right?  If bad things happen to us, shouldn’t we be allowed to pump our fists in anger and defiance?

The reality is that ingratitude and thanklessness are prevalent in our society … whether it be in good and especially bad times.  For parents, hearing a “thank you” from our kids is few and far between, and with our neighbors, colleagues, and classmates, common courtesy can be overrated.

But throughout the entire Bible, from the Old Testament to the New, we are commanded to be thankful.  It is to be a natural overflow of our heart and giving thanks is ultimately an expression of our praise for Him. Despite the bad, especially the bad, the Lord is continually at work in our lives and has plans to bless us…not harm us.  It is THIS reality that we need to be in constant meditation over and neverending thanksgiving.

This is no easy task, and as with all challenges in life, we need God.  We need God to love God.  We need the Savior to ask the Savior for forgiveness.  And we need the Heavenly Father to be thankful for the Heavenly Father in all circumstances.  When we recognize this reality and commit to this reality, we are able to see with clarity His faithfulness to us in our lives in all circumstances.

So if you have a moment starting this week (…then every day for the rest of your life 🙂 find ways to be in thanksgiving toward our Creator.  If you need a little guidance, here are a few verses to help you along the way.  (from How to Be Thankful in All Things)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thank God for the People in Your Life:

  • 1 Corinthians 1:4 – I always thank God for you
  • Acts 28:15 – at the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged

Thank God in the Midst of Trials and Even Persecution:

  • James 1:2-3 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trial of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance
  • Daniel 6:10 – he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before
  • Colossians 1:12 – You will even be able to thank God in the midst of pain and distress because you are privileged to share the lot of those who are living in the light

Thank God Especially for His Salvation in Jesus Christ:

  • 2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
  • John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life

Thank God for His Continued Presence and Power in Your Life:

  • Philippians 2:13 – it is God who works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose
  • Matthew 28:18 – All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
  • Ephesians 5:20 – Always giving thanks to the God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ