Maybe the reason we have such a tough time with being thankful is because we put so little emphasis on it. We don't hear much about Thanksgiving except for this one day out of the year that is full of feasting, football and falling asleep. It's the start of the Christmas rush.
Thanksgiving isn't just a once-a-year celebration. Thanksgiving is an attitude. That's why I believe we must make Thanksgiving a holiday for every day.
How do we do that?
First, WE MUST LEARN TO REJOICE ALWAYS. Gratitude has always involved rejoicing. For example, the Psalms. Rejoicing somehow puts us in a better position to be thankful.
If the Bible tells us to rejoice always, it stands to reason that we should be glad to do it in the midst of the bad as well as the good. When we learn to rejoice we will soon discover that being thankful is not so hard. In the Bible, rejoicing and thanksgiving are connected.
Second, to make Thanksgiving a holiday for every day WE MUST LEARN TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. Prayer and thanksgiving go hand in hand. Show me a prayerful person and I will show you a thankful person. I assure you that there is a crucial relationship between unceasing prayer and thanksgiving.
Third, to make Thanksgiving a holiday for every day WE MUST LEARN TO BE THANKFUL IN EVERYTHING. This is something that a lot of people think is impossible to live up to, yet scripture calls us to do just that. We are to give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for our lives.
Luckily, the Scripture says in everything and not for everything. It is hard to be thankful for cancer, the loss of a loved one, senseless killings and other horrible things that happen in this life. However, we can give thanks for God's comfort, care and love in the midst of those experiences. We can be thankful for His presence when something bad happens to us or to those we love.
I believe the Bible is pointing out that when we give thanks in everything, it helps us to focus on the unlimited resources of God.
Perhaps our biggest mistake is to think that Thanksgiving is something we do only when good things happen. The truth is, it can be extremely helpful when difficult things happen. Being grateful in every circumstance somehow releases the power of God in our lives.
Have you been selling thanksgiving short? It is such a powerful resource for living and yet we tend to reduce it down to one day a year. But if we learn to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything, we can make THANKSGIVING A HOLIDAY FOR EVERY DAY!!
Pastor Dave McGaffey