When We Are Thankful


This week in the United States we celebrate something so very blessed, and most unusual in the entire world. It is the holiday called ‘Thanksgiving’. Pausing for a moment, this nation collectively bows its head and thanks God for His provision and protection.

September 6, 1620, a group now called ‘The Pilgrims’ left England for the newly discovered America. For two months they braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. After landing on the shores of Massachusetts, they held a prayer service and then quickly began building shelter. Tragically unprepared for a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring.

Yet persevering with great faith and assisted by helpful Native Americans, they reaped a good harvest the following summer. The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast in December, 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their new friends — America’s first Thanksgiving Celebration. This began an annual tradition that spread among the colonies.

The first President of the United States, George Washington, strongly agreed with the celebration, declaring with Congress : “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor...” Abraham Lincoln in 1863 solidified the tradition by setting aside the last Thursday of November, declaring: “We often forget the Source from which the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies come… No human wisdom hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.”


Thankfulness is a powerful attractor of blessing.


Thankfulness is a powerful attractor of blessing. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18)

And to the church at Ephesus he wrote, “Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20)

As a young man in the synagogue Paul had learned the secret to a joy-filled powerful life. It’s a key to life found in the book of Proverbs… “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance...for out of it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

What you put into your heart is what will flow out of your life. The words you use will condition your heart. What do you want flowing out of your heart - bitterness, anger, discouragement and strife?

Or thankfulness!?


Thankful people are the most joyous people on the face of the earth. That’s no coincidence.


Thankful people are the most joyous people on the face of the earth. That’s no coincidence.

This is a step beyond remembering God and thanking God for all that we enjoy in this world. It is thankfulness for His presence! Thankfulness for the relationship, for God being our Father.

So powerfully did Paul understand thankfulness, he wrote that it was what conditioned the prayers of the faithful… “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6)


When we are thankful, when we praise God, glorify His name, sing songs of thankfulness – it is not just about blessing Him – it is the element that enlarges our life, builds our faith and fills us with courage! Thankfulness centers us, reminds us that all of what we are and have is from His generous hands.

As the psalmist declares - “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to his name.” Speaking words of thankfulness will heal our hearts, fill us with anointed vision and condition our lives for the power of His presence.

We are full of thanksgiving, because He has set us free!

Perhaps this Thanksgiving ‘holiday’ is how we should live every day, not just once per year. And, perhaps it’s a celebration that should take place in every home in every nation.

We are thankful for you. For your friendship and faithful prayers.

Live your life in God ordered health – mind, body, soul and spirit – full of thankfulness for His love and mercy.


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