Thanksgiving has once again come and gone and I have to confess that it is my favorite Holiday. This year we gathered in our home and feasted with most of our family, some good friends, and a few delightful college students. As we gorged ourselves with incredible food, we took some time to discuss the things which we were “thankful” for. We all shared similar things. Our Savior, our freedom, loved ones, and even a new puppy. I know for many, this time of year is not always cheerful and heartwarming. Truthfully, it has not always been this way for us either. No doubt, this is the reason why it’s easy for me to be grateful for a pleasant celebration! For some time, our dysfunctional families were the cause of much tension and strife during the holidays. Most of the time it was because we allowed our own personal expectations or desires to take priority over our loved ones.
However, God says in Colossians 3:15-17 , “Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (MSG)
As we put this scripture into practice, it’s important to remember to sing, speak, and live out our gratitude every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving Day! We also need to do more than just say “Thank You” when someone has done something kind for us. As Believers we should constantly live our lives with an “attitude of gratitude” regardless of our circumstances! Whether we are the recipients of kindness or insolence, times of plenty or times of loss, we need to keep in mind that God uses it ALL to draw us to Him! If we have this perspective then it’s easy to cultivate thankfulness in our lives.
It has been said that for every negative moment we experience, it takes approximately five positive moments to cancel it. However, the more we think, believe, and live in the example and attitude of Christ, the less those negative moments affect us. Unfortunately, the devil lives in those negative moments. We must be aware that he will try to use those experiences to discourage us and challenge our faith. We battle him by being intentional about speaking out our gratitude and praise and the power and peace of Christ helps us remain grateful regardless of the experience.
No doubt, the greatest “Thank You” I’ve ever spoken was to Jesus for his sacrifice on the cross when I surrendered my life to Him. It’s no secret that it can be difficult to live with a continual positive and grateful attitude. In reality, it’s a daily challenge. It’s a daily choice. Sometimes even a minute by minute choice. However God is faithful and has given us unsurpassed power through the Holy Spirit. I promise that as you express your thankfulness and as you sing, speak, and live for Christ it becomes easier and easier to live your life with an “attitude of gratitude”. My hope is that by doing so we can make Thanksgiving more than just another holiday but something to be celebrated every day of the year!