Thanksgiving is a great holiday for our country! It gives us time to reflect on God’s goodness, be with family, have great food and take naps. Come on now, how many love the naps on Thanksgiving? There are, of course, football games, along with traditional left overs, and when all this collides it makes for a great day. It’s my hope that this holiday is good for you and you find yourself surrounded by family and friends, because that is the part we remember more than anything else.
It’s healthy to be thankful! It’s powerful and a huge part of our faith in Christ. Thanksgiving is more than a holiday of family, food and fellowship. It’s also a powerful weapon in our lives. Our human nature tends to look at what hasn’t happened, what prayer hasn’t been answered and what things are going wrong around us.
Have you ever found yourself being negative for no reason? I have. It’s so easy to wake up and live a day looking at what is wrong, which leads to frustration and anger. We end up treating others wrong and hurting those closest to us. This is our natural tendency, but that is why Thanksgiving is a weapon.
We must understand that our perspective dictates our posture with ourselves, others and God. This can cause us to lift our heads in faith, believing the best is ahead, or it can cause us to bow our heads in defeat, thinking our best days are behind us. When we stop and consider that, we see how big our perspective is on a daily basis. It’s sad that many people are living this way since God has something better for everyone.
Do you find yourself living this way? No judgement here, just a heart check, because Jesus came to give us life and life more abundant.
Psalms 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with Thanksgiving, go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
Thanksgiving is a weapon because it’s how we enter into God’s presence. Our perspective is lifted up when we are touched by God’s hand and notice that thanksgiving is the first step we take. It’s my encouragement that we all practice being thankful on a daily basis. That we intentionally lift our heads and hearts in thanks for all He has done, and we shake off self-pity, bitterness, anger and more.
Three things happen when we personalize this as “My Thanksgiving.” It’s ours to give, since He has done so much in our lives.
First, it directs our focus. “My Thanksgiving” directs my eyes to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). This reminds me that He is my completion. This gives peace that God has good things for me, and His plans have a good end; therefore, I not overwhelmed. It’s easy to forget who is writing our story when we focus on what hasn’t worked out or what isn’t happening. Yet “My Thanksgiving” directs our focus to Him, and then peace comes that protects our hearts and minds.
Second, it builds our faith. “My Thanksgiving” reminds me of all He has done. Jacob, in Hebrews 11:21, leaned on his staff and blessed his children before he died. His staff would have been marked up with testimonies, moments of victory, and big things God had done. So he was leaning on all of that to bless his children. For us, “My Thanksgiving” reminds us of all the moments when God has come through, and all the prayers He has answered, which inspires our faith to believe in the present. It’s good to remember all He has done! It’s good to take a moment and write it all out, so that your faith is encouraged and you reach for Him.
Third, it protects our hearts. “My Thanksgiving” causes me to forget the past and to look into the future with hope. So many times, “My Thanksgiving” is stifled from looking at our past, but Paul, in Philippians 3:12-14, said he forgot the past and reached forward to what was ahead. Our enemy loves bitterness, jealousy, doubt and unbelief; therefore, “My Thanksgiving” protects me from these things taking root in my life.
I encourage you to personalize this. Make “My Thanksgiving” a daily practice in your life. This small step will produce big results in our lives. The moment is now to lift up your voice, write down testimonies, think of the good things He has done and be free with “My Thanksgiving.” God gave you this to use, so take that step and begin to enter His Gates with it! The best is yet to come!