Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A thankful life is a choice.  A thankful inclination is a choice.  We can choose to be thankful.  Thanksgiving is not contingent upon what is taking place around us or how we may feel at a given moment in time.  A thankful person does not raise or lower his level of gratitude based on how much or how little he may possess.  Gratitude and thankfulness come from the heart—a heart that knows the Lord and recognizes all that the Lord has graciously done and given.  Psalm 108:1 says, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.”  For God’s people, thankfulness is to be steadfast.  We are to be continuously and consistently grateful for what the Lord has done for us. 
            One of the most celebrated hymn writers was a woman named Fanny Crosby.  She lived to be ninety-four years old.  And for the last eighty-nine years of her life, she was blind.  She saw nothing.  Yet her faith never wavered.  She steadfastly trusted the Lord and walked with Him.  She wrote more than eight thousand hymns and never once saw them performed by anyone else.  Human sight and human possession should never be requirements for us to be grateful.  Crosby even wrote “A Hymn of Thanksgiving” with Ira Sankey.  Part of the hymn reads, “With thanksgiving we come to Thee, with rejoicing we worship Thee.  For the fullness of blessings free that crowneth the year.” 
            Our mission as followers of Christ is to erase all the reasons, excuses and delays that keep us from being grateful people.  When we choose a grateful way of life, we discover that joy awaits us.  The one leper who returned to thank Jesus for healing him in Luke 17 also came back to discover that he had been cured, healed and forgiven.  His gratitude gained him far more than he initially expected or even requested.  When we dare to be grateful people, we often discover that God has even more blessings waiting for us to enjoy.
            The Psalms teach us a simple lesson.  God deserves our thanksgiving and praise.  He is worthy of the highest praise offerings that we could ever bring Him.  Time and the calendar are marching ever closer to the fourth Thursday of November which is our national Thanksgiving Day.  Your experience this year could be much richer if you begin giving thanks before the day arrives.  Start a list.  Make a few calls.  Send some texts.  Mail notes to others who have blessed you.  There is a principle in biblical prophecy that says coming events cast their shadows before they arrive.  For example, there were many prophecies in the Old Testament that foreshadowed the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem on that first Christmas evening.  Likewise, a day like Thanksgiving tends to cast a shadow before the day itself arrives.  We have the opportunity to build some momentum of gratitude on the way to the day itself.  Like the psalmist, be of steadfast heart today and choose to make music of gratitude and thankfulness to the One who has given us so much.
            Psalm 108:4 gives us some motivation and reasons for practicing gratitude before the Lord.  We read, “For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”  God’s love, faithfulness and reach beckon us to be grateful people.  His blessings are seen and unseen.  And for each one, we are called to be intentionally grateful and eternally thankful.  Have a great Tuesday!  

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