“In All Things Give Thanks”

There is an old legend about a man who found the barn where Satan kept his seeds to be sown into human hearts.  He saw piles of seeds of lack, seeds of addictions, seeds of hatred, seeds of jealousy, seeds of lying.  He came upon the seeds of discouragement and noticed that there were many more discouragement seeds than any other kind.  He asked Satan ‘why do you have so many discouragement seeds?’  Satan reluctantly said ‘there is one place that I have not been able to grow these seeds.’  The man asked ‘where is that?’ Satan replied ‘in the heart of a grateful person.’

Well, it’s that time of the year when we set aside time to reflect on the blessings of God.  I suppose that there are some who believe that in our society today there is very little to be thankful for especially when terrorism seems to be at an all time high.  So, one may ask ‘what is there to be thankful for?  In 1621, the Pilgrims set aside a day of thanksgiving despite all the hardships they had to endure. They could have become bitter. After all they had to make seven times more graves than they did homes.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  This is a tall order because the word ‘everything’ means just that – everything! Nothing is to be excluded.  Since we are told to give thanks, if we fail to do so, we are violating the will of God, and if we are doers of the word, we should constantly be giving thanks to God; but giving thanks is probably one thing that Christians do not do enough of.  We do not always get what we ask from God, but we always have reasons to thank Him.

Many people would rather complain than give thanks.  Thanksgiving Day is one of the most celebrated national holidays in the United States. Other countries also observe Thanksgiving but on different dates.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to give thanks and express our gratitude to God.  But for believers, Thanksgiving should not be limited to only one day in the year.  If we are to give thanks as we have been commanded to do, one day in the year simply isn’t enough.  Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have; but rather we need to recognize and appreciate what we do have!

With little effort, all of us could create a list of reasons why we should give God thanks.  We our thankful for our freedom; Americans enjoy a lot more freedom than people in other parts of the world.  We are thankful for our families, our friends and the fact that we have a roof over our head and food to eat.  We need to thank God on a daily basis because we enjoy these things only because of the goodness of God.  God is good; He is patient and He is kind; He is slow to anger. He promised never to leave or forsake us. Thank God for who He is and honor Him for what He has done for you.  During this past year you may have suffered loss of one kind of another, and you might be asking deep within your heart ‘what do I have to be thankful for?’  If you are not satisfied with what you have, be thankful for what you have escaped! Look around you. There are people going through much worse than you. You don’t know everything that God has spared you from. When you compare what you want with what you have, you will be unhappy.  But compare what you deserve with what you have, and you will be happy!

Question: What do you have to be thankful for?