There’s something pure about Thanksgiving. It’s an unadulterated, non-commercial time of year to focus on God, spend time with family and express gratitude for our blessings.
Thanksgiving is also a time to reflect — and after an especially tumultuous election season — it can be a time to heal. We need the unity the Thanksgiving season offers, and being thankful is something we can all rally around. It’s not political or ideological.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “[I]n everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (NKJV). Other translations say, “in all circumstances.”
Do you want to know the will of God for your life? Here it is, at least in part: “Give thanks in all things.”
Whether you’re happy, sad or ambivalent, give thanks. Whatever you’re going through, give thanks. If you have more than you need — or need more than you have — give thanks. That is how God wants us to live.
In 1621, Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered for a three-day feast to celebrate their first successful harvest on Plymouth Plantation. They broke bread and thanked God for their abundance. After a harsh winter and much suffering, they were grateful to be alive.
What can we give thanks for right now? In America, we have the freedom to worship as our consciences dictate, family and friends, a relatively stable economy and overall peace. Most of us have plenty to eat, cars to drive and safe homes to live in.
Thanksgiving is a time for us to cultivate thankfulness between ourselves and our God. Our lives are overloaded with so many responsibilities, it can be tough to find the time to spend in prayer, especially during the holidays. But the key for each of us is to have our own personal relationship of gratitude with the Lord. After that, the rest is fruit. Or since it’s Thanksgiving, should I say “gravy!”
We should not only give our thanks to God, but to others as well. It’s important to say thank you to people in your organization — board members, staff, donors, partners — and especially those who do the “thankless” work. You know who they are. Be intentional about it!
Don’t miss the opportunity to get the maximum benefit out of Thanksgiving this year. Revel in the season. Focus on your blessings, then bless others by showing them gratitude.
Finally, we’re grateful to all those who have allowed us to serve their organizations this past year. We’re thankful for all that you do, and look forward to serving you for years to come!
Happy Thanksgiving! And blessings in Christ!