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Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

Series Focus: “Back to the Basics”

Thanksgiving season has arrived! It is one of my very favorite holidays. Sitting around our table eating Thanksgiving dinner, one question is bound to come up: “What are you thankful for?” Go ahead, I’ll let you answer.

Have you wondered why we call it “a season.” I mean, is November the only time of year we truly reflect upon what we are grateful for? I hope not, but it is worth asking yourself. Maybe one reason we call this “the most wonderful time of the year” is because of the emphasis and focus upon gratitude. From church services to social media posts, we hear and read about what others are grateful for. Better yet, it gives us the chance to reflect and call to mind the many blessings in our own lives. So, why not make the thanksgiving season January-December?

Today, we are going to jump into why God delights in our thankfulness. In fact, scripture holds so much truth about this topic it should catch our attention like a flashing neon sign! Gratitude not only reminds us of all that we have, but offers us the opportunity to thank and praise the Giver.

Join me in the following scriptures to understand why we have many reasons to give thanks to Him.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1 ESV)

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV)

In these two passages alone, we have at least three incredible reasons to show gratitude. God is good. His love endures forever. He wants to hear our prayers. Because He is good, He lavishly offers forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, joy and peace to His children. We can trust His love because while our love may come with conditions, God’s love is steadfast, faithful, and covers a multitude of sin. Prayers matter to God. He hears our cries for help, our exaltations of joy, every need we have, even our quietest whispers. Our hearts should overflow with gratitude for such a gracious Father.

But does scripture tell us how to be grateful in hard circumstances? Our trials and heartaches? The broken promises of those who claim to love us? Why would I be grateful for those things? God’s word has an answer in the following verse:

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)

Take a minute. Read this scripture again. It says to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. God is asking us to trust Him. Even in the worst of situations, He is still the giver of good and perfect gifts. He is still the God whose love endures forever! His word tells us time and time again how He delivers those in trouble. And if the trouble doesn’t disappear, He carries us through it—never leaving. King David cries out to God throughout the book of Psalms. He asks for help, strength, endurance, protection, and provision. And if you read through His cries, you will see how He always brings His pain back to praise and thanksgiving!

Blessed be the LordFor he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. (Psalm 28:6-7 ESV)

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5 ESV)

There are so many more scriptures to share! God’s will is for you to be thankful. Not for the bad stuff, but while you endure the bad stuff. Our Lord knows that if we focus on being grateful, our minds and hearts will be set on Him. Our God is able, and He is the same today, tomorrow and forever. Let thankfulness become your way of life. Feeling and expressing gratitude is so good for your soul.

Enjoy this beautiful season of thanksgiving and place your trust in Jesus with a heart of gratitude.

(and…please pass the gravy.)

Holding Fast to Hope,

Scripture References: Psalm 28:6-7, 30:4-5, 100:4, 107; 136:1; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; James 1:17; 1 Peter 1:1:6-7; Job 1:21; Romans 8:28; Joshua 1:9


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