For all my brothers and sisters here in the U.S. of A. Thanksgiving Day is upon us. A day when families get together and many of those families share with one another what they are thankful for. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
With the decline of religious and spiritual mores in the U.S it has been relegated to a pre-Christmas shopping day feast! You may say that I am being over melodramatic but the truth is in media and the response that media gets.
But I propose to you that Thanksgiving day in a Christians heart should be every day. Psalms 118:24 states, “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is a banner song and phrase for Christians all over the world!
Paul states in several Scriptures to need to give thank continually; at ALL times.
Ephesians 5:20, “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”
1Thessalonians 5:16-17, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
And, these are only a few of the well-known verses espousing a continual state of attitude and spirit of a thankful heart. As Christians, true disciples or followers of Christ we have eternity to be thankful for and even though in our present state of being we may not understand totally the awesome significance of that fact, but we DO KNOW that being in the presence of our Heavenly Father through the Son on a continual basis will be glorious to say the least!
Hebrews 11:6, states that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (paraphrased) We know that some things beyond the comprehension of our carnal habitation HAVE to be taken on faith, but even in that is the demonstration of thanks to our Heavenly Father.
I am not giving a treatise this time on the meaning of giving thanks, but rather the ACTION of giving thanks and its place in a true Christian’s life. As you can see from just the verses that Paul writes to us, you can see he is talking to us about a LIFESTYLE. When we surrendered our lives, our hearts and spirit to the Lord Jesus Christ, we accepted that there would be a lifestyle change. You might not have realized at that moment you made your life-changing decision, but it became evident as your teaching and discipling continued underway.
Giving thanks continually should be in the same breath as praying without ceasing and rejoicing always. It is a mindset, and with “practice” it becomes as a part of your nature as breathing. Communion with the Lord is not something that is dependent upon position or even circumstance for when you attempt to be spiritually conscious of His presence always, communicating with Him becomes as easy as taking another breath!
So, don’t just look for a certain day, whether it be a Sabbath day or a designated Holiday; rather do like the Psalmist suggests and recognize on a very conscious level that EVERY day is a day to be thankful for ALL the things the Lord blesses us with, whether our material needs or those things like love and peace that are more spiritual!
In closing, one thing that I have always been exceptionally thankful for is the gift of friendship with brothers and sisters in Christ! Some of those friendships are for a season and some are for the long-haul, but whichever category they fall into, they are one of the most precious gifts the Holy Spirit bestows upon the children of the Lord!!!
Love in Christ Jesus — Roland Ledoux