Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
1 Chronicles 16:8-11
At this time of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of all the difficulties, tragedy, and hardships people have faced across the world during the pandemic. Families have lost loved ones and many businesses have had to close – life as we knew it came to an abrupt halt, plans interrupted, relationships strained and broken, distanced from friends and family. So why should we be thankful?
We don’t like to face challenging times, but none of us can escape them. They are a part of life.
When the prophet Daniel learned that evil men were planning to throw him to the lions to be killed, “he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10, NIV). The Bible commands, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).
When we experience hardships and trials we can thank God, because we know that He has promised to be with us and that He will help us. Psalm 147:7 (NIV) says, “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving.” The Bible is full of scripture telling us to be thankful. God knows what you are going through and is with you by His Spirit. Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness even in the midst of trials and difficulties.
Thankfulness Brings Joy
When we are thankful, we will also be joyful, even in difficult times. Thankfulness is the natural outflowing of a heart that is attuned to God. Sing God’s praises. Talk about all the wonderful things God has done for you. Let your life be a testimony of God’s goodness.
Thank God For What You Have
Do you compare yourself with others? Are you constantly thinking of what you don’t have? If so, you will never be happy or content. Be thankful for what you do have. Many wealthy people are not happy. They spend their whole lives accumulating wealth, but without Jesus, they are miserable. Neither money, position nor power can ever satisfy like Jesus can. The novelty of having new things wears off. Everything on this earth is temporary and meaningless. True happiness and joy come with having the Lord in our lives. Our life with Him is eternal.
Paul said, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (Philippians 4:12, NIV).
Thank God for the People in Your Life
It is so easy to take people for granted or even to complain and become angry, resentful, or bitter because they might not do what we want. But we need to give thanks for those around us—our spouses, our children, our relatives, our friends, and others who help us in some way.
Let those around you know that you appreciate them and are thankful for them. Thank God for those who touch your life. Encourage and lift each other up in times of need.
Thank God for Saving Us Through His Son, Jesus
God has given us the greatest Gift of all – His Son, Jesus who died on the cross and rose again so that we can know Him personally and spend eternity with Him in heaven. When Adam sinned in the garden, sin spread throughout the human race like a virus. That sin separated us from God but God’s gift of His own Son made a way for us to connect to God again. All we need to do is reach out in faith and accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord (John 3:16). Every day we should thank God for our salvation, His mercy, and His grace to us through Jesus Christ.
Thank God for His Presence and Power in Your Life
When we come to Christ, it is the beginning of a whole new life! He is with us, and He wants to help us follow Him and His Word. He loves us like no one else can and wants to show His goodness to us.
In ourselves, we do not have the strength that we need to live the way God wants us to live. But when we turn to Him, we discover that “it is God who works in [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13, NIV). God’s grace gives us the ability to do the things we cannot do in our own strength or willpower.
Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November but as believers, we should be thankful every day in all situations as we are “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything” (Ephesians 5:20, NIV).