A Heart for Thanksgiving
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A Heart for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving brings to mind turkey, homemade stuffing, family and friends gathered around the table, and football in the afternoon… a wonderful day to enjoy loved ones and relax. Of course, God wants us to enjoy this day of Thanksgiving with family and friends, however, for us who are in Christ, Thanksgiving should be more than a day, it should be a way of life.
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A heart of thanksgiving is the will of God for the Believer.
In the Amplified Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 declares, “In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
From Scripture we see that God’s will for us is to continually have a thankful heart. While we may find ourselves in situations where it is difficult to find something to be thankful for, we must remember, the Word of God doesn’t say be thankful for everything but in everything. This is not saying thank God for the loss of a loved one or disease or a financial collapse… but it is saying, while you are walking through those challenging times, remember to be thankful that He is with you, and He will strengthen you and He will bring you through.
We can always find something to be thankful for in every situation, we may have to search for it, but it is there. If nothing else can be found we can always be thankful that God loves us so much, He wanted us with Him so greatly, that He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us back to Himself.
As with all of God’s principles, there are benefits, great benefits, for the one who chooses to have a heart of thanksgiving. One of my favorites is found in Philippians 4:5-7.
“Let your gentle spirit, your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience, be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything, every circumstance and situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And the peace of God, that peace which reassures the heart, that peace, which transcends all understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus is yours.”
It is this heart, one of thanksgiving, that I have learned to cultivate. The word cultivate means to improve by labor and to refine. Which tells us, thanksgiving doesn’t always happen naturally or easily, sometimes we must work at it. We must practice being thankful. When we choose to cultivate thanksgiving in our heart and in our life, we have a promise. The Word of God promises us that the peace of God, that peace that reassures the heart, that peace which transcends all understanding, will stand guard over our hearts and minds.
Thankfulness Through the Challenges
In times of struggle or challenge, as we have seen in our nation this year, I have found if I will stop worrying and begin to give thanks, my attitude changes and my mind and heart becomes peace filled. Renewed faith arises. Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep us in perfect peace… when our mind is stayed upon Him. When we take our mind off the situation and place it back on Him, being thankful for who He is in our life, peace comes.
The true test of thankfulness is measured as we continue to give thanks from the deepest part of our heart in spite of the wounds and struggles of yesterday’s battles. Regardless of what is going on around us or in our nation. We are not a people of weak faith. Mark 11:22 tells us to have faith in God; this Scripture is also translated as follows, “Have the faith of God or have the God kind of faith.” Our faith is not only strong when things are going well. As sons and daughters of the Most High God we have a resilient and continual God-kind-of-faith in a faithful, loving and living God.
Hebrews 13:15 in the Amplified Bible says, “Through Him, therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.”
We are to constantly offer thanksgiving and praise to God. In this Scripture it is called “a sacrifice of praise.” Why? Because there are times that it is not easy to do, there are times that it is indeed a sacrifice, yet the Word of God is plain. Easy or not, a thankful heart is God’s will for us. God knows that it is a thankful heart and mind stayed on Him that will bring us out of every challenge, therefore we give thanks… continually.
Overflowing with Gratitude
A heart of thanksgiving is pleasing to God! Psalm 69:30-31 says, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull which has horns and hooves.” In Bible days, the people of God offered up animals as a sacrifice. Today, our offerings usually come in the form of money or things, yet in this Scripture we find there is something that pleases God even more than an offering… and that is one who will praise and lift up His name with thanksgiving!
As we enjoy this Thanksgiving Day, let’s also remember the words found in Colossians 2:6-7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in union with Him reflecting His character in the things you do and say living lives that lead others away from sin, having been deeply rooted in Him and now being continually built up in Him and becoming increasingly more established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.”
Overflowing with gratitude – now that’s a heart that pleases the Father. It is our prayer for you today that not only will you enjoy this Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, but you will also begin to cultivate a heart that is indeed overflowing with gratitude.
As you do, you will find just as the Word of God says, “All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of the circumstances]” (Prov 15:15).
May your feast not end as the sun goes down on Thanksgiving Day, but may you have a continual feast in Christ, a continual feast which is the fruit of a thankful heart.
Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
What are you thankful for this holiday season? Feel free to share in the comments!
Author Kim Potter is a writer and the founder of A New Thing Ministries, which sends a daily teaching to thousands of people all around the world. Her articles have appeared on The Elijah List, Charisma, Spirit Fuel and iBelieve.com. Kim’s message is one of hope. She speaks to the heart of those who have grown discouraged or disappointed by the circumstances of life, imparting hope. To receive her daily inspirational writings, go to www.anewthingministries.com. Photo Credit: Canva.
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Thank you Father God as we approach another day to celebrate as important as Thanksgiving. It’s the birthday of our Savior- His name is Jesus. I am thankful for what our forefathers brought to America, as we celebrate a Day of Thanksgiving for the blessings of Jesus#1, Then family, then our Christian friends , then the prophets who gave us messages of Hope and the reasons why the delays of exposure for all of the Leftist enemies. I am thankful for the mighty works of God and his promises of Power to save us during this time of Horrible sin that needs To be exposed to awake America to follow Jesus not the liberal way of life. I thank you for your everlasting love and care for us. I thank God for the words of truth in the scriptures and stories of Faith, everlasting LIFE. I thank you for the family structure man, woman and children. Thank you Father God for bringing Freedom back to America and Strong walk in Faith God preachers. I am excited to see Righteous reign and Satan defeated. Praise God🙏
I’m sooo thankful for the gift of life! That I can walk and move even with crippling arthritis… and most of all for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ! Hallelujah I’m free and blessed beyond belief!
I thank God for His presence. His name Emmanuel, God with us, means so much to me this year. No matter what, God promises to be with us always, saying, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”. That is a comforting word to cling to! He created all things, created us, and stays with us! Praise God, today and forever. My prayer is: Lord, create in me a thankful heart,
With true gratefulness filling every part.
May Your sovereign will become my heart’s delight,
For a thankful heart is precious in Your sight.
How could you not be Thankful for the One that gave his Life for anyone who will Believe . His Grace and Mercy is amazing!!! His Love is more then enough . Thank you JESUS!!!!!!!!
Loved 🥰 the part about if you begin to worry, you stop and begin to give thanks to the
Lord. That’s a great technique to get rid of any worry or anxiety. Even though our country is dealing with so much difficulty, God is in control and there have been things happening that give glimmers of hope for better times. Even on the days where so many negative things are happening, there still is much to thank and praise God for. Also really found the expanded Bible verses so helpful to stand on. Thank you, Jesus!! 🍂🦃🍁Thank you Kim Potter!
I’m thankful for friends and family. God has blessed us sO much beyond what I could have imagined 50 years ago. Thank you my Lord. Amen
Our hearts overflow with Gratitude and Thanksgiving to a Holy YHVH GOD who has well taken care of us, in spite of many trials and tribulations. We have countless things to be thankful for, especially since our Constitutional Republic has been founded on the Holy Bible and its Eternal Truths.
Holy Father we give You the Worship, Love, and Obedience You deserve. We ask that You would give us the wisdom that is so needed to carry out Your Will in these difficult days. By the Power of Holy Spirit, to Your Glory ALONE, ABBA Father~ in the Sublime Name of our Saviour, GOD, and King~ The LORD Jesus Christ, AMEN!
I am so thankful each and every day for Our Father’s love and grace. As a 10 yesr old child who did not know anything about God and whose family never went to church, He made Himsef known to me. A friend spoke a scripture to me that pierced my heart and the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin. I prayed a very simple prayer for 3 years, that I know Holy Spirit put in my heart and which brought salvation to my entire family. I am now 85 years young and just the thought of this amazing work of grace aways brings me to tears of thanksgiving.
I am grateful to you Jesus for dying for me and forgiving me for all my sins and extending your mercy and Grace to me when I did not deserve it.. I thank you Jesus for all my family in the body of Christ and for my earthly family… Amen
Abba Father, I’m thankful for Our LORD JESUS CHRIST and HIS finished work of the cross, HIS Glorious Resurrection and Ascension according to the scriptures. Thank YOU for all you have done for sinners like me. I Love YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST! Amen
Thank you for the wonderful article that lifts our hearts’ eyes in refocused praise and thanksgiving.
HEAVENLY FATHER, so many of us older generation look back at THANKSGIVING with Precious Memories of our parents and grandparents who have been with you for many years now…..
We Remember with Joy in our hearts the years we shared together—filled with love and thankful hearts and delicious meals that were so lovingly prepared for our families.
NOW THEY ARE ONLY A MEMORY—-but what a wonderful memory. To be the oldest generation is Very difficult at times…..THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS are really hard….and my Precious LAYLA SUSANNA ROSE went home to be with YOU and my family on November 14th. I miss her so very much….
BUT we HAVE OUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES. THANK YOU, HEAVENLY FATHER, FOR OUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES. THANK YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST, FOR YOUR LOVE AND THANK YOU FOR HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS PRESENCE IN OUR LIVES…..WE COULD NOT MAKE IT WITHOUT HOLY SPIRIT. Amen and Amen
This truly touched my heart! I wish you lived next door to me. I think we would be great friends. May your Thanksgiving be blessed with joy.
I am so thankful that He pursued me, never gave up on me and gave me HIS eternal salvation thru Jesus Christ my LORD!