Thanksgiving is one of the very few times each year that the entire nation takes time to give thanks. To give thanks for friends and family. To count their blessings. Each day I read Facebook posts about what my friends are thankful for.
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.”
~ Psalm 107:21
Throughout Scripture we are called repeatedly to give thanks.
However, sometimes I feel like we have missed a key factor (or maybe two).
If you look at all the verses in the Bible about giving thanks, they all relate to giving thanks to God. Not just being thankful, but for being thankful to our Creator.
“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
~ Psalm 136:26
Moreover, we tend to be thankful for all of the good things we have. When we count our blessings, they are always things that make us happy.
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Earlier this year I led a Bible study through the Beatitudes, and one of the first things I learned, was that blessed doesn’t mean happy.
Blessings don’t always come in pretty packages.
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you,
and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:
for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.
~ Matthew 5:3-12
Jesus taught us to give thanks to God in every circumstance. Not just when we have a house to live in and food on the table.
I actually learned this week that the pilgrims (who started this whole Thanksgiving thing) dug 3 times as many graves as they built houses (and houses held more than one person, graves don’t). Yet they still chose to give thanks.
They still set aside a day to praise God for all He had done.
No, they weren’t thriving, but they were still thankful.
Can we be like that? Can we give thanks even in the midst of heartache?
I don’t know where you are this Thanksgiving–what you are going though. But I encourage you to stop and thank God for what you do have, even if it’s not wrapped up in a pretty package.
Here’s another fact for you:
Did you know the biggest blessing we could ever dream of, came through what was the most heartbreaking event in the history of the world?
The biggest blessing we have is the gift of Salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
That blessing came through His life (where He was scorned), His death (when He was beaten, hung on a cross, and abandoned), and His resurrection (where He achieved His victory).
If you have never seen The Passion of the Christ, but it depicts that blessing in a very real way. Just knowing what our Savior went through to save us, to save me, I can’t even imagine.
But He can.
And He did.
So, no. Blessings don’t always come in pretty packages. But true blessings are eternal.
I encourage you this Thanksgiving, not only to be thankful for what God has given you, but also to be thankful for true blessings that come from above.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:57
I invite you to go deeper into the beatitudes this Thanksgiving with my book, “Blessings from Above.” In it, I share modern-day examples of biblical teachings. Each of the eight chapters is short, includes questions to ponder, and was designed to bring Christ’s message home.
This post is part of a blog hop for Christian Indie Authors. Check out what other authors have to say by visiting BooklyBooks.com/thanksgivinghop
We’re also sharing some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Here are my 3 favorites (click the recipe name to be taken to them on AllRecipes.com):
- Easy Herb Roasted Turkey: This is by far the best turkey recipe I’ve ever found. It’s so flavorful and juicy! I cook mine in an oven bag and it always turns out perfect.
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Sweet Potato Casserole
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”
~ Psalm 69:30