Thanksgiving is tomorrow. One thing that bothers me every year is how our culture glosses over Thanksgiving and moves on to Christmas even before Thanksgiving arrives. It’s the quest for gifts and shopping. But Thanksgiving is more than filling up on turkey, watching football and spending time with friends and family. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks.
Nothing brightens life like the spirit of thanksgiving. The word “joy” occurs 181 times in the Bible, and the theme of thanksgiving is woven like a golden ribbon throughout the fabric of Scripture. God wants to hear our doubts, fears and questions; but He especially desires our praise!
A day that begins and ends in prayer and praise won’t become unraveled. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening.” (Ps. 92:1-2)
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night? It may be an opportunity to tell the Lord what is troubling you and to praise Him. “At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.” (Ps. 119:62) In Acts 16 Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God at midnight, after they had been severely beaten and thrown in prison. I don’t know what your current circumstances are, but I encourage you to be like Paul and Silas and give thanks. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thess. 5:18)
Praise and thanksgiving are good barometers of spiritual health. According to Colossians 3:17, we’re to thank God in every word and action: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Whenever we awaken in the morning or retire at night, if we’re sleepless at midnight, whenever we eat, every time we pray, and in all our words and deeds–all should be tinged with thanksgiving the way the morning sky is tinged with crimson. Let us exalt His name forever! “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 89:1) A heart filled with thanksgiving is also filled with joy.