Saturday, November 26, 2016

Give Thanks

by Tim Howard

This week many families and friends gathered for a Thanksgiving Day celebration. Our country has set aside one day on the calendar each year to remind us of the importance of giving thanks.  One day to press the pause button and say: THANK YOU GOD for all you have done.

Among many statements found it the Bible about thanks and praise, David said in Psalms. 92:1 “It is good to give thanks to the LORD.”

 It’s good because it opens the door for a heart of gratitude to grow within each of us. Giving thanks is something you say and do but gratefulness is a condition of the heart. An Attitude of Gratitude flourishes when life is lived with thankfulness.

Not only this but it also replaces the ugly sounds of criticism, sarcasm and complaining with the reverberation of joy, hope and appreciation. Granted, there’s much to complain about but when you realize over half the world earns less than $2.00 a day; no more than 5% of the world population owns a home and the majority don’t have a car to drive, maybe we have more to be thankful for than we realize.

 People who complain and criticize on a regular basis are not fun to be around. Thankful people, however, bring a fresh perspective because they focus on what they have and don’t worry about the things they have yet to obtain. They bring joy because they choose to fill their mouths with positive things rather than the negative.

Jesus asked a very important question worth answering when He was on His way to Jerusalem. The narrative is found in Luke chapter 17. Jesus spoke a word of healing to ten people stricken with leprosy and here’s what happened: “And as they went on their way, the leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God, I’m healed!” He fell face down on the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done… Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where is the other nine?

Good question? Why don’t more people give thanks? Maybe the nine didn’t return because they chalked it up to being lucky or a coincidence? Failing to realize God’s involvement stifles thanksgiving.

Then again, maybe they were so caught up in the present moment and their new-found health they simply forget the goodness of God.

It’s easy to lose a spirit of thanksgiving at any time – but be warned - the consequences are not very positive. Romans 1:21 declares: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, so they became futile in their views of life, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Thanksgiving will blow the clouds of darkness away and keeps the lights on. Only then - will a person see life through positive lenses.

As I celebrated Thanksgiving a couple of days ago – my family and friends took time to express thanks to God. I personally don’t thank God for everything because some things are evil but I have committed myself to giving thanks in the midst of everything.

This is something I endeavor to do 365 days a year – including Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you do as well.

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