“Oh come, let us sing sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Left us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1,2 New King James Version
The Hebrew definition for this particular example of thanksgiving is, “Confession of thankfulness, a song of thanksgiving! Thanks is the speaking of the excellence of a person or object, with a focus on the personal gratitude of the speaker.”
I find it quite challenging to find something unique to say about Thanksgiving every year. It seems each family has their own traditions revolving around this very special day. It has always been one of my favorite holidays, the family getting together, the cousins, the touch football game after the dinner, all those memories that still bring a smile to my face!
When you remember Thanksgiving Day I hope it is with fond memories of family, friends, laughter and joy. As we have our own families the building of memories begins all over again. There will be some traditions incorporated from your own childhood and the new ones created by your own little family.
However, I still find myself facing the challenge of what exactly is giving thanks? There are the verses telling us to give thanks in all things, even adversity—even when really bad things are happening. So, I am trying to understand this whole idea of thanksgiving, and according to the Bible, if I want to be a really good Christian I have to be willing to be thankful in everything!
First let me take on the really good Christian thing. There is no such thing as a really good Christian! There are only bad ones! At least that’s what my Bible says, no one is without sin. We all need Jesus because we are all ego maniacs thinking the universe needs to revolve around us! Well, most of us struggle with something like this, and we all have that nasty little thing called The God Complex, or as God named it Sin.
If this is our legacy from the Garden of Adam and Eve, then our reprieve is found in the Garden of Jesus. Suddenly the light breaks through, the wonder of giving thanks becomes the willingness to realize what we have in Jesus. Because I believe everything in our lives is filtered through God’s love for us.
Whether I understand how it works or not doesn’t change the fact of God’s love for us and His intimacy in our lives! God pursues us with a passion beyond our understanding, even beyond our ability to accept. Jesus, knowing this, promised the Holy Spirit would make sure to lead us into the Truth of His Love, the greatest thing of all to be thankful for, to recognize how thankful God is for us!
Remember the Hebrew definition at the beginning? It defines thanks as speaking of the excellence of a person. What most of humanity doesn’t know is God speaks of us with excellence. When He looks at us He sees all that He prepared us to be, to become, everything that He sees in Jesus He sees in us! Now there’s an absolutely phenomenal reason to be thankful! The reality we wake up every morning is another reason to join in thanksgiving with our Creator.
All of a sudden it isn’t such a challenge to understand thanksgiving and how it makes a difference in my life. Thanksgiving, both the day and the action of giving thanks, remind me of how tremendously God has blessed me! I have a wife who loves me, and has for forty years. I have two daughters who are amazing, absolutely fantastic, and a son-in-law who is a wonder, also! I am so proud of them and all they have accomplished. You probably have the same feelings about the people who are important to you.
As I think about it there is so much rolling into my mind, overwhelming me with the truth of Thanksgiving. Because really, it isn’t that hard to be in an attitude of thanksgiving. It only becomes difficult when we allow ourselves to forget—to forget all that has been done for us by the One who created us, came here to live for us, die for us, and then to be resurrected for us! And in all of this His Love never wavers, it never ceases, or changes. This is the reality of God telling us we are His, He never leaves, He will always be with us, nothing will keep Him from us. Nothing.
These things and so much more are what bring the smile to my face. They remind me I have nothing to be afraid of when it comes to being in an attitude of thanksgiving. I have nothing to fear as I seek to discover what it means to be thankful, to be in the discovery of thankfulness. And once I realized that Truth it allows the process of thanksgiving to become a part of who I am!
We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! May you all be safe whether you are traveling, or you have family and friends coming to your home! However you choose to celebrate, remember God celebrates you everyday and that is one great reason to be Thankful!
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end…” Lamentations 3:22-23 English Standard Version
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his loving-kindness continues forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his loving-kindness continues forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his loving-kindness continues forever.” Psalm 136:1-3 The Living Bible