16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
I find myself with great appreciation for the holiday we observe today, Thanksgiving; it encourages us to be positive in our perspective and to have attitudes of gratitude. This day is a hallmark for family, friends, food, and fun! If we are truly honest, most of us really do have lots to be thankful for!
I chose the above verses for this blog because I believe it is very important that we, who follow Jesus, should live lives that daily reflect great-fulness that we rightfully should demonstrate. The greatness of God’s freedom, love, and work in our lives should perpetuate us to be always rejoicing (even in trial and struggle), to be prayerful moment by moment, and to give thanks to God no matter the severeness or ease of our life circumstances and situations at all times. These directives are not easy to achieve, but rather are a result of discipline and intentionality. Developing minds and hearts that live with gratitude and thankfulness to God daily not only brings glory to God but also helps us to live in a positive perspective of reality, rather than being encumbered with the negative realities of life that take place every day.
I am not suggesting that we blindly walk through life with our heads in the clouds, making pretend that everything is all roses, daises, unicorns, rainbows, and beaches. I am simply encouraging us, myself included, that as followers of Jesus we have so much to be thankful for here on earth as well as eternally. We could, like the media, newspapers, tabloids do, focus on the negative, exaggerate and exasperate problems, and weigh people down with problems, troubles, and challenges of life. I believe, though, that Jesus lived a life that modeled for us hope in the midst of despair, faith in the midst of failures, and joy in the midst of enduring the most painful and challenging moments of our life!
This Thanksgiving Day, I would like to give a challenge to each of us to make a commitment for this next year (YES, AN ENTIRE YEAR) to start each morning speaking out loud two things for which we are thankful! It does not take much time at all, but is a great way for us to develop the very important attitude of gratitude that we are directed to live. Let us truly learn, not just for one day a year but daily, to live rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks always! Thank You, Jesus, for Your help with this!