I love the Thanksgiving holiday, one of my favorite traditions is what my family does after the meal. We go around the table and express what and who we are thankful for.
God in his immeasurable goodness takes thanksgiving to the highest level. It’s not about a meal—it’s about thousands of meals. It’s not about gathering yearly, but gathering daily. Especially, it’s not about telling each other and God how thankful we are once a year, just as we’ve finished an abundant meal. No, life lived in relationship with God is about having a thankful heart—daily—in good times and in bad. Essentially, thanksgiving is a heart-style as well as a lifestyle.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 truthfully tells us,
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life? Here’s your answer—give thanks.
Why does God want us to give thanks for everything? Why is this heart-style His will?
One attribute I adore about God is His infinite wisdom. God knows everything beginning to end. The reason He wants us to live a life of gratitude is because He knows and understands what thankfulness accomplishes in our heart and life.
The biggest revelation to me about living a heart-style of thanksgiving is the fact that thankfulness in hard times causes our heart to stay soft towards God. When we are thankful, there is no room to blame God.
A few years back my family, to put it mildly, experienced somewhat of a car crisis. I prayed for a newer car for quite a while—expecting God, my provider, to hear and answer my prayer. The answer was long in coming—really long in coming.
God showed me that I must thank Him for not having a car. Thank Him for the season—thank Him for His grace in this season—thank Him for being good and faithful, no matter what I’m going through or what my life looks like.
Prior to learning thankfulness in that season, I found myself questioning Him, whining, grumbling and yes, complaining about my car situation. He showed me was my heart attitude was one of blame towards Him, not only blame but one of unbelief. Ouch, this grieved me!
You see thankfulness causes our heart to be tender and trusting—of faith. Instead of irritably wondering what’s going on—when will God come through and worse why and how could He do such a thing, or allow such suffering in my life—which would be unbelief.
A heart-style of thanksgiving releases us in to the abundant life Jesus came to give us. (John 10:10) Gratitude is in essence putting on rose-colored glasses.
A heart-style of thanksgiving causes praise to abound in and through us, changing our perspective on life. It brings Philippians 4:11-12 to life;
…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…
Not only does thanksgiving cause us not to blame God—changing our unbelief to faith, but it releases miracles and brings salvation. Even Jesus Himself gave thanks to God, and every time He did—the miraculous followed. (John 6:11, John11:41, Luke 22:17.19)
The foremost aspect of a heart-style of thanksgiving is the very fact that it brings us into a deeper relationship with God and His Son. In Philippians 4:11-12, Paul says He’s learned the secret of contentment—the secret is not thanksgiving—it’s Jesus. Thanksgiving paves the way to make Jesus what He should be in our lives—the main thing—Lord of all.
Please be encouraged to make thanksgiving your heart-style, therefore causing your heart to overflow with the Love of God—Jesus Himself.