Thanksgiving. The time of year when we say what we are thankful for.
Here is a list of a few things that I am thankful for:
-my parents for their support, their encouragement and love
-my friends who are like family, the quality of their friendship and that they haven’t left my side (They know who they are)
-the kindness of others
-pain; without it I wouldn’t know joy
-music; it is such a huge part of my life
-being a Christian and the Christian people in my life
There are so many more things in my life that I am thankful for, but why is it only “acceptable” to say what we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving Day? I think we should treat everyday like thanksgiving. I think that would give us a chance to see the small things around us that we are thankful for.
If we have an attitude of thankfulness everyday it can change our character into someone who is joyful, thankful, and looking on the positive side. But to change our character into someone who is thankful we need to have a positive outlook in life. We also need to be thankful for the small things in our life. And we even need to be thankful for the hard times in our life. James 1:2-3 says “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” Job 2:10 says “But Job replied, You talk like a foolish woman. Should we only accept good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?…”
I think thankfulness should be more than just saying what we are thankful for, it should be a way of life. If we look at Paul, Paul was someone who was always thankful and joyful. In Acts 16:26 Paul and Silas were singing praises to God, and they were in jail. Paul encouraged others to be thankful and thanked God as well. Paul was continuously thanking God no matter the situation he was in. This showed that Paul was content in his life. Being thankful helps us focus on what we have, not what we don’t have. When Paul and Silas were in jail they were singing because they knew that God was with them and that was all they needed.
If we choose not to be thankful we can become discontent. This can make us unhappy with our situations, which could lead to making us unhappy with our lives. Being discontent will suck the joy out of your life. Discontentment shows up when you are focusing on the negative things in your life and everything that we think isn’t going right. In Philippians 4:11 Paul said “not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” To not be discontent it is helpful to become thankful for what you do have. As well, learning to appreciate the things you may despise or hate. This is not easy to do but by starting to be thankful, you will be able to be content in your life.
I encourage you to make these next 12 months a time of thanksgiving. I encourage you to have an “attitude of gratitude” which will cause you to overflow with thankfulness. Being thankful will give you joy and joy will give you peace when you face obstacles in your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says “ rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”