Give Thanks (By Dan Adams)

I’m beginning to think I’m in the minority, but I like my holidays one at a time. I don’t want to rush, I want to enjoy each one, especially this time of the year. We’re barely past the last one, and nearly every store is already decked out for Christmas.
The day after Halloween, my neighbor replaced his spooky yard decorations with snowflake lights. Now, I love Christmas just as much as the next person, with all of the family traditions, foods, and celebrations of Jesus’ life. But I don’t want to rush past Thanksgiving.
Now, I realize that the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday isn’t a biblical holiday, but it certainly is a Christian concept. All throughout Scripture we’re commanded and encouraged to give thanks. We’re given so many examples and reasons to give thanks. And forgiven followers of Christ have the most reason to be grateful.
I have to admit, it’s far too easy for me to focus on the negative. I’m tempted to grumble and complain about difficult circumstances. I don’t think I’m alone in that. And while this life may be filled with hardship, we also have so many blessings, if we only pause to remember. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”
What a great reminder. “In all circumstances” is a healthy reminder that even when I’m having a rough day, I can give thanks to God for His many blessings.
Psalm 136 is one of my favorites. Multiple times it instructs us to give thanks, and then goes on to give dozens of reasons to be thankful. Sometimes I need that reminder. If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to read it. When you’re done, take a moment to make your own list – reasons you have for giving thanks. I think you’ll be encouraged.
This November, I’m not rushing straight to Christmas. I’m going to take some time each day to thank God for something new. I’m looking forward to giving thanks to God, not just on one Thursday at the end of the month, but each and every day.
There are several things I thank God for just about every day: His love and forgiveness, salvation, my wife and kids, and His daily provisions. Right at the top of this list is our church family. I’m grateful to God for you. You are a constant blessing and encouragement to me. I hope this November we make time to establish a habit of gratitude. Happy (early) Thanksgiving!