With Thanksgiving fast approaching, what better idea than to remind ourselves how to take a posture of gratitude, and think of all the sweet things we are thankful for, right? I believe last year at Thanksgiving, that is exactly what I wrote about, but this year, I felt the Lord inspire me to dive a little deeper into this.
Our culture recognizes Thanksgiving for the harvest and other blessings of the past year, which is modeled on a harvest feast shared by the English colonists of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people from 1621 (Britannica). But thankfulness is nothing new in Biblical terms. Thank you has been written over 100 times in the bible, depending on the translation. Being thankful is an evident importance for the body of Christ to be. I think of just today, and it’s easy to name all the things I’m thankful for. Church with my family, sledding, Christmas tree hunting, Christmas decorating and cocoa, receiving up to ten hugs from my 7-year-old and kisses on my cheek. I can’t help but stand in a posture of thankfulness.
Then comes the challenge, that reminds us once again the Kingdom of God is upside-down from culture.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This scripture has always been tough for me. I have often thought, God must mean that in everything, remember at least one thing to be thankful for. In difficult times, there is always something we can think of to be thankful for. But, no, that is not what this scripture says. In everything, all things, NOTHING goes without a thank you. How is this achievable? I believe there are three things that can help us wrap our heads around this posture of gratitude and help us stand in thankfulness no matter what season we are walking in.
- Some may ask, how is it possible to find joy in the sadness, or to find peace in the midst of storms? Some may say how do you find patience when you are running on empty? All of this has one answer, The Spirit of the Living God, the same spirit that rose Jesus from the dead that lives inside of all who believe. When our flesh cannot find gratitude, when it doesn’t make sense to our soul, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to see beyond our circumstance, and it is through Him that we can thank God for the hardship, the loss, the confusion, the doubt, the hurt, and the pain. For it is in the hard seasons, that we draw close to God. It is when we grow and take another step to a new glory, it is sometimes an open door to another’s salvation.
- Next, I believe that if we practice the posture of gratitude, that in all things, we can find our hearts set on thankfulness, and not bitterness. Before the sun rises, until the late hours after dark, we stand in a surrendered, thankful posture before the Lord, saying this is how I want my heart, my soul and my mind to be postured.
- Lastly, scripture reminds us again and again, not to look to the things of the earth, not to lose heart over the things of the earth, not to grow weary of the things of the earth, but to keep our gaze toward Heaven, our eternal dwelling and official address that all believers will eventually arrive to! God wants us to be thankful in everything because there is NOTHING on the earth that is worth losing our faith, wisdom, compassion, peace, joy, and who you are, over. If we continue to be thankful, our mind is set more on Heaven, and everything we look at is through His lens and not our own.
This Thanksgiving, I’m not sure what your posture looks like, I’m not sure what all your hearts feel like, I’m not sure if your full of heaviness, or joy, but in all things, I pray that you open your heart toward the Father who loves you with everything that He is, and to posture yourself in gratitude for it ALL.
Love, Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving friends and family,