Pastor Nirmala Reinschmidt
Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. Judging by the holiday’s name, the way to celebrate Thanksgiving seems pretty straightforward: What could be simpler than counting your blessings and saying a prayer of thanks for them.
- But the beauty and simplicity of the day have, for many, become complicated by a host of things that divert attention from the object of our gratitude: ìThe Lord.î Expressing thanks can be difficult when our mind is preoccupied with expectations (our own as well as others’), a loved one isn’t there to celebrate with us, or for some it is a high stress occasion.
- The truth is, on a day set aside for being grateful, many people feel miserable. In fact, Christians are no exception. However, regardless of our feelings, the Bible tells us to constantly give thanks to the Lord.
- “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- Two reasons many of us don’t get the principle of thanksgiving right are somewhat opposite to each other.
- We give thanks only for the things we feel thankful for.
- We speak words of thanksgiving out of habit without truly grateful.
In the first case, we fall short of the goal laid out for us in God’s word — namely, to give thanks in everything. In the second case, we’re behaving religiously on the outside without being transformed on the inside. Instead of giving the Lord our gratitude, we are offering Him platitudes.
It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. What about the times when we feel that our life is falling apart? God want us to give thanks at all times, because He has a purpose for thankfulness. When we are thankful, we become more aware of His presence and more motivated to find His purpose. Thankfulness teaches us to trust God, build our faith, and recognize our dependence upon Him.
Count your Blessings! Be Thankful! Be generous!