November—and Thanksgiving particularly, is the month Americans choose to show their thankfulness. But honestly, there have been days, months, and years when expressing thankfulness was difficult.
The year my son left to live with his mother was a difficult year to be thankful. Nor did I feel thankful when I sent my daughter off to college. Empty nests are lonely. The year my father died was a difficult year to be grateful. As well as the year I spent a week in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer and spent more time in the doctor’s office than out of it.
But like many other things in life, I don’t tie thankfulness to my feelings. I thank God because it’s the proper thing to do. The lame beggar Peter healed recognized the same thing. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. (Acts 3:8 NLT)
When I examine situations closely enough, I find reasons to thank God even when it appears there are none. Praise is an appropriate method of thanking God. The lame beggar did after Peter healed him. If Christ does nothing more for me than what he has at Calvary, I have sufficient reason to praise him forever.
Giving is another way I demonstrate thankfulness. I’ve wandered through periods when money was tight, bills fell behind, and some services were even disconnected. Yet I still gave. God’s kingdom work is worth it, and he has promised to meet my needs when I do.
I also thank God with time. I give of my time by worshipping with other believers, by using the spiritual gifts God has showered on me, by indulging in spiritual disciplines, and by loving my neighbor through acts of service.
How are you illustrating your thankfulness to God?
Prayer: Merciful God, guide us to demonstrate our thankfulness to You for all You’ve done for us and to do so every day.
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