With the upcoming holiday, I've been reflecting on the word Thanksgiving. According to the Webster's dictionary, "Thanksgiving - a legal holiday celebrated in the U.S. for people to be thankful for what they have." I think it's much more than that, when we recognize who provided all those things in the first place.
Thanksgiving isn't something we should celebrate once a year on the fourth Thursday of November, but on a daily basis we should live a life of gratitude to the Creator of the world, just for being who He is. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 118:1 (NIV)
So, how do we live a life of Thanksgiving in a world that seems so dark & gloomy, a world where mass shootings and terrorist attacks become more common every day. A world that is so focused on how this situation affects me, instead of looking at the bigger picture and asking what can I do for others, that will bring glory to God? The answer is we can't, not on our own at least, but through the power of Jesus Christ.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
In other words, "turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. The things if earth will grow strangle dim, in the light of His glory & grace." We're not promised that when we look to Jesus, everything will be rainbows & butterflies. I'm not saying that when we look to Jesus that all the bad stuff in the world goes away. We live in a fallen world. But when we turn to Jesus, He will give us a peace that passes all understanding.
Sometimes in life we walk through valleys, and other times we get to hang out on a mountain top. I'm thankful for my valleys, because I got to witness first hand that God will never leave me or forsake me. Through the hard times, and my lowest points, I got to learn how to lean on Jesus. "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
So, thank You Lord for being who You are. You are good, and your love never fails. Thank you for being strong when I'm weak. Thank you for the life you have given me! Thank you for being faithful to keep Your promises. Thank You for loving me at my worst, and for sending Your Son Jesus, to prove on the cross how much You love me. Today, I won't ask for anything, I just want to say thank you!