Thanksgiving. We all know it’s the holiday we celebrate because of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and the feast and the cornucopias. Today, it’s a day to remember what we are thankful for, gather with family we hardly see, and eat as much turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie as our bellies can hold. And then the next day (or even Thanksgiving night) the madness of Christmas shopping begins and Thanksgiving is forgotten for another year. Thanksgiving is just one day of the year to think about our blessings but the Word of God tells us all throughout Scripture to be thankful. Thanksgiving is just one day a year but we can be thankful every single day. This is a term I like to call Thanks-Living. It’s living each and every day with thankfulness in our hearts for all that God has done for us and all that He has given us. Let’s dive deeper into what it means to live out of a heart of Thanks-Living.
Thanks-Living takes us into a deeper relationship with God and the relationships we have on earth. It doesn’t mean that things in life are perfect. It means that when things aren’t perfect, we can still look around us and be thankful to God and praise Him. When our hearts can recognize the goodness of God even when circumstances aren’t good, that’s Thanks-Living. An attitude of Thanks-Living takes the spotlight off of ourselves and puts it on God. It glories and magnifies Him who is worthy of all blessing, and honor, and glory, and power! Let’s take this week to learn about Thanks-Living and let that overflow into our lives each and every day.
Thanks-Living Overcomes Anxiety & Worry
Philippians 4:6-7 AMP – Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7 And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
How do we overcome worry and anxiety? By changing our worry into prayer with thanksgiving. Coming into the Lord’s presence with thanksgiving allows us to see how much we have been given and how much the Lord truly cares for us. When we thank him for all He’s done, God’s transcending peace will come and guard our hearts. Worry melts away when we turn our anxieties into thankful prayers. Thanks-Living overcomes anxiety and worry and leads to a life of peace.
Thanks-Living Overcomes Selfishness
Colossians 3:17 AMP – Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Society today tells us that it’s “all about me!” What I want, how I feel, what I need…it’s all about getting our desires fulfilled. God’s Word tell us something different. Everything we do, say, anything should all be done in the name of Jesus which in turn is giving thanks to God for all He’s done for us. A life of thanks does everything in life for Jesus. It’s not about our desires, wants, and needs but about the Father’s Kingdom. It’s about Him, it’s about others. Thanks-Living overcomes selfishness and leads to a life of humility.
Thanks-Living Overcomes Misery
1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP – In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Life comes with circumstances. Joyful circumstances, hard circumstances, fearful circumstances, mundane circumstances. Our lives are a continuation of one circumstance into the other. Whatever we face each day, the Lord says to continually give thanks. What if the circumstances are horrific? Give thanks. What if I can’t bear it? Give thanks. Why does God tell us this? Because it’s His will for us to be conformed in the image of Christ. Jesus gave thanks in all circumstances and God desires for us to follow in Christ’s footsteps. If we allow the circumstances in life to overcome us, misery follows. But if we choose to give thanks in the hardest of circumstances, joy follows. Joy is the assurance that God has everything under control despite the circumstances. Thanks-Living overcomes misery and leads to a life of joy.
Thanks-Living Overcomes an Ungrateful Heart
Colossians 2:6-7 VOICE – Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives. 7 Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness.
When we accepted Jesus as the Savior of our lives, we were thankful that He paid the penalty for our sins. Just as we were thankful in that moment, we are to continue to be thankful for what He did for us. Why? Because it strengthens our faith, it makes our roots grow deeply in Him, and it builds us up on a firm foundation. Living a life of Thanks-Living helps us to always be grateful that our sins are paid for and that we are free in Jesus. We are no longer slaves to the world, our flesh, and Satan but we are FREE! As Thanks-Living is cultivated in our lives, we become stronger in faith and our lives are built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. If our hearts are ungrateful, look back to the cross and allow thankfulness to overflow! Thanks-Living overcomes an ungrateful heart and leads to a life of constant gratefulness and thanksgiving.
Father, I thank you for the love that you poured out on the cross for the whole world so that we would have a personal relationship with You! Help us to live lives of Thanks-Living and overcome anxiety, selfishness, misery, and ungratefulness so that our hearts can be filled with peace, humility, joy, and gratefulness. Let us never forget what you’ve done for us and all that you continue to do. Let our hearts grow deeper in love with you so that our faith is strengthened and that we are built upon a solid rock. Thank you Jesus for loving us and for giving us a new heart and new life! Praise Your Name! Amen.