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Thanksgiving by John Hagee

Thessalonians 5:18
…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

Here we are – miles away from Thanksgiving! Months away from turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Many miles and months to go before the calendar turns, before the leaves turn, and before we turn to a table laden with scrumptious bounty and surrounded by those whom we love the most.

For the Christian believer, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday that we tick off our to-do lists the third week of November each year. Thanksgiving – gratitude – should be hardwired into our DNA, rooted in our hearts, and evident in our everyday lives.

In today’s verse, the apostle Paul instructs us to give thanks in every single thing. It’s easy to breeze over that verse with a confident, “Of course!” But are we? Giving thanks in everything? When we are satisfied and safe, happy and healthy, praises roll easily off our tongues. What of the other times though?

Paul practiced what he preached. The book of Acts tells us about a particularly tough time for this Christ-follower. In the town of Philippi, Paul and Silas were attacked, stripped, beaten with rods, thrown into jail, and restrained in stocks. That’s a bad day! Deep in the night, a sound reverberated through the prison cells as the other inmates listened. Was it crying, complaining, kvetching? No, it was the triumphant strains of praise, prayer, and the singing of hymns (Acts 16).

Paul had figured out how to be content. In poverty or prosperity. Whether famished or full, abased or abounding, thanksgiving flowed from his grateful heart. He recognized his Source in every situation and shared it with us: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Our thankfulness demonstrates to God that we trust Him more than the affairs of the world in which we live. In everything – not for everything – but in every condition, under every circumstance, through every situation, give thanks to God.

In the big moments, give thanks. In the small, seemingly insignificant moments, give thanks. On the good days when everything goes according to plan, give thanks. On the bad days when everything seems against you, give thanks.

When you consider your past, give thanks that God carried you through it. When you are overwhelmed in the crisis, give thanks that God will never abandon you to cope alone. When you consider all of your tomorrows, give thanks that God goes before you to smooth the path.

Blessing:

Generous Father, I give You praise. In every situation, help me to focus on You and Your goodness to me. May my heart always overflow with gratitude towards You. May Your praise continually be in my mouth. Wherever I find myself today, I know that You are present and powerful enough to take me through with praise. In the name of Jesus…Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Old Testament

Deuteronomy 4:1-49

New Testament

Luke 6:39-7:10

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 68:1-18

Proverbs 11:28


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