One of the great desires of my life is to finish well. At the end of my race, I want to be able to say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
There is no doubt that God expects His children to maintain and practice a spirit of thanksgiving and sincere gratitude. This is, first and foremost, to be directed toward our Heavenly Father from whom all blessings flow.
As we approach Thanksgiving, our hearts turn, perhaps more than usual, toward God in thanks for His many blessings. Indeed, our lives are full of His blessings. As Psalm 68:19 tells us, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
Thanksgiving Day, made a national holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln celebrates the feast the Pilgrims held after their first successful corn harvest in 1621. What many Americans fail to remember is that Thanksgiving is not just about being thankful—it’s about being thankful to the one true God.
You might call me stingy, but I prefer to think of myself as thrifty. Either way, I’m all about saving pennies where I can… which is exactly what I did some years ago when I salvaged several small pumpkins from being tossed.
The Bible tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe this verse speaks of the amazing complexity and intricacy with which God created us. As a former student of anatomy and physiology, I have always seen the creation and creature as evidence of a Creator, and our wonderful Creator has bestowed upon us, not just life, but through our physical bodies, an amazing capacity and ability to enjoy life and the creation He has made.
Not too long ago, a pastor friend of mine visited us at Heritage Baptist Church, and our conversation went to the subject of gratitude. My pastor friend made a statement to me, which at the time I felt was rather harsh, but upon reflection have recognized its validity.
Spiritual Building Blocks for the Christian Life—Part 6
A growing Christian should practice perpetual gratitude. In this verse, we see that we should give thanks in everything. This means even in the worst situations we should give thanks because it is the will of God.
Americans must never forget the origins of our national Thanksgiving holiday. Its spiritual significance is no longer taught in our nation’s public schools. In fact, most school children today are taught that Thanksgiving originated when the Pilgrims invited their Native American friends to dinner to thank them for their help in troubled times after the Mayflower landed. As with much of modern American revisionist history, there really is much more to the story.
I recently did something I should do more often—turned notifications off on my phone, drove to an area with no cell reception, hiked to the bottom of a canyon, and sat for two and a half hours with a good book.
One of the plaguing sins of American Christians is ingratitude. So many people spend their lives looking for that something—some other place, person, opportunity, recognition—that will be better. Their discontentment diverts their attention from what they already have.
Do you have a heart that is overflowing in praise and thankfulness to God? Do you have a praise list that is equal to your prayer list? Are you careful to take inventory all of the good things God is doing for you?
On Thanksgiving Day, when you are sitting around the table sharing your blessings, it’s easy to feel thankful. But we all have to work to maintain a grateful spirit every other day. Perhaps it would help to identify these four attitudes that are enemies of thankfulness: