Thanksgiving – Who And What Are We Thankful For?

Someone asked me the other day if I celebrate Thanksgiving? Interesting question! Isn’t it? We must celebrate thanksgiving daily by giving thanks to God. Thanksgiving should be a part of our daily lives. There are a lot of things big and small that we should be thankful to God daily. The “Attitude of Gratitude” should be part of our daily lives.

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, here are some thoughts on what and whom we should be thankful for during this time.

Thankful To God

First and foremost we must be Thankful to God. He is our creator and He is the one that provides for us. By His grace we are able to wake up every morning. His mercies are new every morning. He is the One that provides new opportunities for us every day. The Holy Bible says “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”- Lamentations 3:22-23(ESV)

We should thank the Lord for His blessings. We should be thankful for all the things that He provides us that will help us to get through our daily lives. (Family, fresh air, shelter, transportation, safety, good health…..). We should take time to thank and honor God individually and as a family.

Thankful For The Family

We must be thankful for our families. A family is a place where we can find comfort, support and encouragement. It is a place where we are accepted as we are. It is also a place where we learn discipline and forgiveness. It is common for all families to have issues and problems. But the greatest thing about a family is that we can work out and resolve these things together as there is forgiveness in family. A family is also a place where our identity is established. I heard a saying many years ago that “Home – The Place Where We Grumble The Most and Are Treated the Best”. How true! Most of us might get a chance to meet with our families during this time of the year so take the opportunity to shower them with love and kindness.

In the Holy Bible we see the lives of many people who went through difficult times with their families (examples include the life of Joseph from the Old Testament, King David and Moses to name few). We can see how those people kept their faith and good attitude to overcome those difficult circumstances and turn the problems to their advantage to get ahead in life and bring Glory to God.

Thankful For The Job

We must be thankful for our jobs. The important thing is that we get paid for the work we do which will help us in taking care of the needs of our families. A job is a place where we get an opportunity to identify and focus on our strengths and to make a difference based on our unique skills and talents. A job provides the direction for our lives. There will be opportunities for partnerships and growth in our careers. I recently came across a quote from Brian Tracy that states “Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing.” You are blessed if you have a job where you look forward to go to work every morning. Pray for your organization, your boss and your co-workers every day. As the Holy Bible states “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people“- Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

There are some people who are unemployed at this time and looking for opportunities. One thing that could be done at this time is to look back in our careers and identifying what we are good at and look for opportunities in those areas. Look at your past victories and look forward to the future opportunities. Do not lose hope as the Lord will provide according to His riches in Glory. Take your skills and talents to God and ask Him to bless them and believe in faith. I believe that He will provide for you.

Thankful For The Friends, The People We Meet & The Opportunities

As we go through life we get opportunities to meet various people. Some people stay in our lives for short durations while some people stay in our lives for a longer durations whom we call “friends”. We must be a source of encouragement to the people we meet and must add value to them. Maya Angelou states “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We must look to make a positive impact on the people we meet. We could learn from various people along the way. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said that “We will be the same year after year, except for the people we meet and the books we read.” So, learn from every opportunity and also invest time in reading good books. Be around with people who will encourage you and build you.

Thankful For The Church

A Church is a unique place where people come to worship God from various cultures, nationalities, different educational and family backgrounds. They gather together for a common reason which is to Glorify God. People bring their gifts to be used for the Glory of God. We should be thankful to the Pastors, Deacons, Board members and the congregation for the fellowship. We can find encouragement, support and acceptance in a church. A person need not hold a position to serve in the Church. Everyone can serve in different areas based on their individual gifts. When we go to the Lord with our talents, He will provide the opportunities and will show us where we can serve with what we are blessed with.

Some Points To Remember

  • Contentment is the key to a happy life.We should stop complaining and must learn to be thankful for everything that we have.
  • Never take things for granted and learn to enjoy little things in life.  We have to learn to enjoy the little things that we come across in life for one day we may look back and realize that those were the big things.
  • Learn to express thanks for every little thing as this is the will of God.
  • Learn to forgive others. The Bible states in Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath”. Forgiveness will help us get over a lot of things and is good for our health.
  • Reach out to hurting people and help them in any way you can. You are blessed and in turn be a blessing to others.

I would like to conclude with a saying from J.F.Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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