We recently celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday. Did you have an attitude of gratitude? For many people Thanksgiving is a holiday of family, food, and football with shopping also on their minds. And sometimes there may be some talk about what they are thankful for, but it seems that seldom God enters in the conversation. There is nothing wrong with that, but Thanksgiving was about giving thanks to God in the original 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation. The proclamation by George Washington at the urging of Congress was to set aside “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” in response to the many blessings poured out on America by Almighty God, in particular acknowledging God’s hand in the nation’s independence and the peaceful transition to a national government. That gratitude perspective seems to be lacking today.
I am guilty of treating Thanksgiving only as a time for food and fellowship, and not acknowledging God’s “kind care and protection”, and asking God “to bless them with good government, peace, and concord”, and also asking God to “to pardon our national and other Transgressions” as found in the 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Fortunately, I am in the habit of going to a Thanksgiving church service that covers those things. It is important to me to reset my mind on the goodness and providence of God. Our Heavenly Father is gracious and merciful, providing for all our needs. We need to be reminded that everything is God’s, and we own nothing.
Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. (Deuteronomy 10:14)
It is all God’s, and even our abilities come from God.
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17-18a)
In America, we live a luxurious life, and as Americans we want to be self-reliant. God reminds us that reality is different. It is all God’s and we are just managing what we have been given. God asks us to use what he has given us to his glory. We seldom have that stewardship perspective. We are focused on ourselves, and we do not realize that everything we have is really God’s. From the air we breathe to the car we drive, it is all God’s. The good news for us Christians is God has control, and he is working things out for our good (Romans 8:28). Therefore we can
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
If you are going through tough times and are not feeling very thankful because things are not going as desired, turn to God and tell him how you feel, and then look back and remember all God has done and thank him for that. Because knowing all God has done for us, we can look forward with hope. It lifts our spirits and stops our grumbling.
Do you have an attitude of gratitude? It has been shown to be good for your health and your relationships to have that gratitude perspective. By thanking God, you take the focus off yourself, and put it on God and how he has provided for you. Like our Founding Fathers, let us thank God for his gracious provision. It is good to do so.
It is truly meet, right, and salutary, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty Everlasting God