It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.
– Psalm 92:1
When you see Christmas coming…
The well-known Bible commentator Chuck Missler once said, “When you see Christmas coming, you know that Halloween is almost here.” Every year, nearly as soon as the new school year begins, the stores initiate a frenzy of holiday merchandizing. In some stores, the poor workers take down the Halloween displays as boxes of Christmas decorations sit in the aisles waiting to be unpacked. If you hunt hard enough, you might be able to find a few paper plates and napkins depicting a turkey or cornucopia—the marketers’ passing nod to Thanksgiving.
Uniquely an American tradition, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. Set aside by President Lincoln in 1863 as a national day of giving thanks to our Creator, “Turkey Day” has largely become a day of gorging, lounging, and football.
But don’t get me wrong. I love gorging, lounging, and football.
I love the pregame chatter and the warm smells of turkey and all the trimmings emanating from the kitchen. Once the gang gathers around the table and the blessing is given, two days’ worth of preparations are consumed in twenty minutes, just in time for the kick-off. The day is festive and fun.
It’s one of the things I’m thankful for this season.
Thankfulness is a big thing with God. The Scriptures repeatedly entreat us to be thankful. It’s not that God needs to be praised. He knows thankfulness is good for us. A heart full of gratitude has little room for envy, jealousy, and strife.
Praise guards, guides, and strengthens us.
Praise honors our Father. It purifies us and draws others closer to our precious Lord. Living in an attitude of praise frees us and draws us upward out of the clutches of our own deceitful hearts.
This Thanksgiving season, I will awaken and thank God for the gift of life and good health. I will ask God to help me pray more for those who are suffering.
I will eat turkey and thank God for the gifts of my home and a full refrigerator. I will ask God to help me be more generous, so others may not know hunger and cold.
I will watch football and thank God for the gift of my family. I will ask God to help me be more loving to them.
I will go to church and thank God for the gifts of freedom and fellowship. I will ask God to help me be a better citizen and sister in the Lord.
I will look beyond my window and thank God for His creation. I will entreat Him to teach me how to be a better ambassador to His hurting world.
This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks. And I will ask God for the grace to live every season with gratitude, to offer a lifetime of praise.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6