• By Joseph A. Bias

Being Thankful — A Starter List

“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth…” 2 Thessalonians 2:13

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

As we are preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations and the start of the Advent/ Christmas Season, I’m reminded that our nation once regarded God with such reverence and awe that we considered it vital to the nation’s wellbeing that we take one day out of 365 each year to pause and gather around the family table to say, “Thank You, God for all that You have given us and the way You have kept us and protected us to be strong as a nation and to thrive in the world as One Nation Under God.” At the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims honored God because He had sustained them through the hard seasons and difficult times of settling in the “New World.”

Today, some have turned away from the original intent of this holiday and eclipsed it with commercialism, sports events, pointless revelry and general hedonistic self-indulgencies, like most national holidays. But for those of us who desire to please God and are truly grateful to Him for His sustaining grace, His mercy, His kindness and the favor with which He has blessed this nation despite those who have chosen to marginalize and display a dismissive attitude toward Him, this Day is still an opportunity to count our blessings and express our gratitude to God, our Father, first and foremost.

As you have opportunity, I encourage you to take some time, today to stop and tell the Father how much you love and appreciate Him and how grateful you are for the many ways He has blessed your life. Here are some suggested starters. You might share this at the family table and then have everyone chose their top three and say why they chose them.

Select all that apply:

_____For Godly wisdom from above

_____For the power of God to bless and keep you

_____For the Love of God that gives you life

_____For the presence of God, the Father, Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit in your life

_____For a family of believers who love you and pray for you, who support you in the good times and the bad

_____For angels of God that are sent to minister for us who are the heirs of salvation

_____For Heaven and for Earth

_____For a peaceful home - a place to rest your head in quietness and trust

_____Someone to love who also loves you

_____For children, for their health and peace, for their life, whatever they are into and wherever they are – for God’s hand of protection, grace and provision on them

_____For a loving, kind, considerate, caring, patient, supportive, encouraging, compassionate and passionate spouse

_____For family and friends

_____For a close companion and true friend

_____For creativity and gifts of artistic expression – music, literature, drama, art, crafts

_____For a mind to think and choose what is good and right before God

_____For a healthy body, energy, strength, vitality, well-being

_____For a merry heart

_____For others with whom you can share God’s love

_____For a generous spirit, heart and hand

_____For the blessing to be a blessing

_____For beautiful days, for blue skies and radiant sunrises

_____For rain and snow, heat and cold, sunlight and nighttime

_____For restful evenings and warm sunsets

_____ For work, good work, productive work that gives purpose and meaning to your days

_____For gift and talents that are unique, and not unique, for common and uncommon abilities

_____For songs to sing and voices to express love

_____For righteous anger and passionate appropriate responses to good and evil

_____For creative ideas

_____For hope for the future

_____For the promise of Jesus coming again

_____For eternal Life in Christ

_____For Heaven

_____For Earth

_____For today, for yesterday and for tomorrow

_____For a table filled with good things

_____And for the gathering of family and friends together to say,

“Thank You, Father, God, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit”

Now, you may not have all these things right now and it may be hard to imagine thanking God when your situation is anything but peaceful, or kind or encouraging. But, if you will be grateful to Him for Who He is, despite what your circumstances might be at the moment, God will bring His glory to rest right in the middle of where you are and lift you up above your circumstances into His joy and peace.

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

To God be the glory, great things He has done.

#Thanksgiving #Kindness #Jesus #Praise #Devotionals #Community


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