“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.”
An attitude of gratitude must be a part of our daily life. We must celebrate thanksgiving everyday by giving thanks to God. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, here are some of my thoughts on what we should be thankful for during this time.
1. Thankful to God
First and foremost we must be thankful to God. He is our creator and our Provider. By His grace we are able to wake up every morning. He is the One that gives us new opportunities for us everyday. 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 Almighty God for all His blessings. We must be thankful for all the things that we are blessed with. We must intentionally take time to thank and honor God individually and as a family.
2. Thankful for the Family
We should be thankful for our families. A family is a place where we can find comfort, support, encouragement and acceptance. It is also a place where we learn discipline and forgiveness. It is common for families to have a few misunderstandings. But the greatest thing about a family is that we can work through those things and resolve the misunderstandings as there is forgiveness in the family. A family is also a place where our identity is established. I heard this saying many years ago “Home – The place where we grumble the most and are treated the best”.
Most of us will get a chance to meet our families during this time of the year. Take this opportunity to shower your family with love and kindness. In the Holy Bible we see the lives of many people who went through difficult times with their families including 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 that eventually brought Glory to God.
3. Thankful for the Friends & the People we meet
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said “We will be the same year after year, except for the people we meet and the books we read.” As we go through life we get to meet various people. Some people stay in our lives for a short time while others stay in our lives for a longer duration. Cherish your friendships. It is not enough to just say relationships are important. We must intentionally invest time in our relationships. We must be a source of encouragement to the people we meet and add value to them.
Maya Angelou said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Look for every opportunity to make a positive impact on the people you meet. We can also learn many things from various people along the way. Learn from every opportunity and also invest time in reading good books. Be around people who will encourage you and build you.
4. 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 and 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 for the Pastors, Deacons, the congregation and pray for them and fellowship with them. We will find encouragement and support in the church. Everyone can serve in different levels based on their individual gifts and God given talents. Remember, when we go to the Lord with our talents, He will show us the opportunities where we can serve with our gifts and talents.
A good Bible based church will be there to support you during difficult times and times of need. Personally, my church has provided me a lot of support and comfort during the difficult times in my life. If you do not belong to a church at this time, please find a local Bible based church and be a part of it.
5. Thankful for the Job
We must be thankful for our jobs. The important thing about a job is that we get paid for the work we do and that that will help us to take care of our needs. 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 skills and talents. Our job provides the direction for our lives. There will be opportunities for partnerships and growth in our careers. I came across a quote from Brian Tracy “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 . Pray for your organization, your boss and your co-workers everyday. Do you best everyday. Remember, 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)
If you are currently unemployed at this time and looking for opportunities, try to utilize the downtime to look back at your career and identify what you 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 in the right time.
Remember that contentment is the key to a happy life. Stop complaining and learn to be thankful for everything that you have. Express gratitude. Never take things for granted and learn to enjoy the 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 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”. Reach out to hurting people and help them in any way you can. If you feel that you are blessed then be a blessing to others. Please feel free to share your thoughts on what you are thankful for this year.
I would like to conclude with a quote by 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.”