In just a few days, we are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving; the holiday that has come to mean the beginning of the holiday season. On our calendar we have that one day out of the entire year that is devoted to expressing our thankfulness for all the blessings that we have in our lives. It has often occurred to me that in today’s society, thousands of people all across America spend virtually every day of their lives feeling depressed, defeated, and overwhelmed. For many, because of the everyday struggles and trials that they face, they are unable to comprehend and realize how blessed they really are. When Thanksgiving Day rolls around, these same people who spend their entire year discouraged and depressed, are suddenly called upon for one day out of the year to express thanks for all of their blessings. It is all but impossible for people who spend three hundred and sixty four days out of the year not comprehending their blessings to suddenly have an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and gratitude.
The truth of the matter is that we should live every day of our lives as if it were Thanksgiving Day. So many times in the course of the hustle and bustle of life, people get so overwhelmed and engulfed by life’s challenges and circumstances, that they are unable to clearly see their true blessings. As the saying goes, sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. In order for us to live a happy and productive life, we must develop an attitude of gratitude that permeates our lives every day of the year; not just on Thanksgiving Day.
In the Bible, in the book of Philippians, there is a scripture that gives us the recipe for how to avoid living a life of being overwhelmed all the time. In Philippians 4:6 it says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” What the Apostle Paul is telling the people in Philippi is pretty plain. He is simply saying, “ Don’t worry about anything! Whatever you have need of, simply ask God for it, and while you are doing that make sure you thank God for all of His blessings upon you.” The next verse goes on to say, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” It is all about developing an attitude of gratitude, and deciding to focus your attention on the good things of life, and not focus on the aspects of your life that are not so good. When you do this, even though you may be going through difficult times in your life, you will have that peace of God that passes all understanding. The world may not understand how you can always maintain a smile even in the midst of your troubles. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says later in this same chapter. In the eighth verse Paul says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (New Living Translation) Happiness in life is all about what we choose to focus on. The Bible teacher and theologian Harry Ironside was once quoted as saying, “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
We don’t have to wait till Thanksgiving Day every year to have a heart of thanksgiving. We can choose what we focus on in life, and what we focus on will largely determine our happiness. If we will do as the Apostle Paul said and focus on things that are excellent and worthy of praise, we will experience the joys of Thanksgiving Day all year long.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,