Give Thanks

In all things at all times.

It’s the second Monday in October and Canadians are off for Thanksgiving, a national holiday initiated in the 1800s to celebrate harvest and show gratitude to Almighty God for the abundance of the previous year.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. From Japan in the Far East to Germany in Europe and Grenada in the Caribbean, the tradition is upheld in several regions of the world and marked by large feasts and family gatherings. It’s a happy occasion, especially for those still connected to its foundational principle of being grateful and giving thanks to God.

But thanksgiving for the Christian is not a one-day celebration; it’s a lifestyle.

“No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Whether in plenty or in want, God expects His children to be thankful.

In the good times this is not a difficult ask, but how do we guard our hearts and maintain a lifestyle of thankfulness in the hard times or when life’s outcomes betray our best expectations?

  1. Focus on the big picture: Emulate the posture of Joseph who despite the cruelty and unfair treatment of his brothers, showed them kindness because he saw the bigger picture that what they meant for evil, God meant for good (Genesis 50:20).
  2. Trust God’s providence: No weapon formed against you will prosper Isaiah 54:17; God is always with you to preserve you (Isaiah 43:2).
  3. Choose to be thankful: Thankfulness is a personal choice (Psalms 34:1, Ephesians 5:20).
  4. Give thanks daily: Thankfulness is demonstrated and expressed not in thoughts or intentions but only by action. When you open your eyes each day, open your mouth also and say, ‘Thank you Lord!’ This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:24).

Happy Thanksgiving!

How do you guard your heart to remain thankful? We’d love to hear from you at chayil@patfrancis.org.