It is that time of year again, and I cannot believe how quickly it came! I love how when November hits, my Facebook newsfeed is often filled with posts from my friends counting their blessings, and sharing the things for which they are thankful. Such posts seem to spark a chain reaction, and many will hop on the thankful wagon, but usually, it is only just a few weeks later and those posts fade. That time spent of Thanksgiving appears to be nothing more than a short-lived season.
As Christians, Thanksgiving should be much more than a day, a week, or even a month – we should carry a spirit of Thanksgiving always.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV) , it says to:
“16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Cultivating a spirit of thankfulness is easier said than done. How can we live in a spirit of thanksgiving all year long, and not just inside the window of this holiday season?
We can take a few pointers from King David. You may be familiar with his story. He wrote many of the passages which are contained in the book of Psalms. What I love most about the Psalms is the raw and honest spirit that David brings forth to God. Time and time again, he pours out his heart and tells God what He is going through and what his circumstances are. But what I also love about the Psalms and about David is that he preaches to himself. He is raw and honest with God about his situation and his feelings, but then, he encourages himself in the Lord and he declares who God is in the midst of his situation. When David was on the run as he was being hunted, when his best friend’s father threw a spear at him, when people didn’t understand, he brought it all to God and poured out his heart, then recognized who God is.
Thankfulness recognizes the sovereignty of God. It is not living in denial of current circumstances, but in the midst of them, recognizing who God is in that specific situation. No matter what the situation is, we can be thankful because thankfulness is not based on our emotions, but on the one who never changes.
How can we cultivate this spirit of thankfulness all year?
- Thank God daily for His presence in our lives and for his character (who He is).
- Be real with God when it comes to your feelings about your situations and circumstances, but return to the right perspective recognizing who He is.
- Share with others what you are thankful for.
- Journal your thanks. Write it down.
- Pray continually.
Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, and may you continue to cultivate a spirit of Thanksgiving all through the year!